The Covid-19 pandemic brought in a new way of doing things. From work from home culture to carrying out a child’s education at home, many changes have become a new phenomenon for people worldwide.
However, virtual schools have revolutionised the education system and brought one of the biggest changes that modified the landscape of functionality and brought the rise of online learning during the trying times.
The advent of technology and the pandemic has transformed the education system alongside the working style and taken a major turn towards the popular online medium.
As everything became virtual, teaching became a widespread practice in online classrooms. But what are the major differences between a physical classroom and a virtual classroom? And in broader terms, what is a virtual classroom?
To understand the meaning of a virtual classroom, one needs to look at how things normally work in a physical classroom and how they are different from virtual classes. Firstly, let us have a detailed understanding of how both types of classrooms are conducted.
Like a normal physical class, a virtual classroom is a web-based setting where teachers interact, communicate, and educate students about the subject they are specialised in or related topics included in their student’s syllabus. In terms of the learning materials, it is no different from a physical classroom.
The factor that distinguishes a virtual classroom from a regular physical class is that it is conducted live in an audio-video format. Sometimes, pre-recorded videos deliver a specific type of learning or lecture, but it is mostly a live interactive session between students and professors.
Features of a virtual classroom
Virtual schools are focused on educating students where things work contemporaneously with students and instructors online, which allows them to communicate and interact in a live stream. Besides this, there are some other valuable features listed below:
- Experimentative in nature
Although virtual classrooms have been in existence for many years. In the last couple of years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they have been used as an alternative to physical classrooms around the globe.
Due to constant use, the virtual classroom concept has been hitting new milestones and developing new ways of learning. For instance, virtual classrooms are not only meant for learning but also for activities like competitions, conferences, live examinations, and engaging with learning resources while working in groups.
These activities are a part of the experimental process as both learners and instructors benefit from several innovations. Virtual classrooms benefit instructors as they provide growth opportunities to boost their careers by offering relevant educational content. As a result, students also engage with classes in novel ways, enhance their knowledge and get to know the areas or sections where they need to work more on.
- A mixed learning experience
More than ever before, students studying in virtual schools are getting connected. They’re not only conversing with each other in discussions but are also collaborating on teamwork sessions and contending for top rankings in competitions and other class activities. This competitive environment has helped virtual schools become more innovative and interesting than ever.
Additionally, the mixed learning curve that evolved from the virtual classrooms has helped teachers change or modify their syllabus and teaching style and made it easy for the learners to acquire educational content effectively.
How does a virtual classroom work?
The process of conducting a virtual class involves certain steps. First, a virtual class is conducted using a video-calling portal. Moreover, it would help if you had desktops/laptops, sound systems, online file sharing websites, etc., to participate and study in virtual schools.
Let’s get to know all the things you require to get prepared for a virtual classroom:
- Credential sharing
The first stage involves the sharing of credentials. Once students enrol in a virtual school, they are given their respective credentials, including a login id and password. They attend their daily classes, download notes, and access study material using this.
- Login and access the classroom
Once students login into their respective virtual classrooms (by entering their meeting id and password) and attend the online class using their device’s camera and microphone, they can interact and communicate with their classmates and professors simultaneously. So it is because live online classes are usually held.
A virtual classroom allows students to talk freely, ask their questions, and present their thoughts smoothly. For instance, there is a hand-up feature. If a student uses this option, it will determine what they want to say or ask something.
- File sharing
Not every platform provides this service for sharing files in a virtual classroom. Also, using an email service to share files has limitations since only a certain and limited amount of data can be shared.
Therefore, it is important to choose third-party software or portals that allow students and teachers to share their respective file submissions. Also, a factor that is of utmost importance for these portals is their security. If portals are not secure, there could be a possibility that a massive data leak could happen.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual schools and online learning methods have become dynamically popular. In addition, the introduction of new ways to generate and provide study material over the web has also led to a significant increase in the demand for virtual learning platforms.
Coping with the challenges like lack of staff training and student involvement can sometimes become hard and disturb the virtual learning process. However, the certain thing is that the educational institutions and faculty are striving to be a better version of themselves and make learning fun and easy. This is the sole aim of 21K School, India’s first online only school. They are a formal, recognised K-12 school offering Indian, American and British Curriculum online for students aged 3 to 18 years in India and abroad. Started in June 2020, today 21K community includes over 6000 students and 225 teachers from 400 cities and 54 countries representing seventeen nationalities. They are pioneers in offering personalised, transparent, affordable high-quality education to students online using proprietary learning platforms engaging students with a repository of audio, video and animated curriculum content from the best in the world. Visit today to learn more.