Virtual classrooms are the new normal in higher education.
Many degrees are now being offered as fully online or via blended learning. In secondary schools blended learning looks set to be used into next year in parts of the UK.
Given the seemingly unstoppable growth of the virtual classroom, we take a look at the long-term benefit for both the school and students.
What is a virtual classroom?
Online virtual classrooms only need an internet connection to operate.
Once connected you can join the live session at a specific time and date.
Virtual classrooms can be delivered via a dedicated operator (such as EDClass) or be a simplified video call from Skype or Zoom.
A dedicated virtual classroom can include the following features:
- Calendar management
- Class scheduling
- Interactivity such as free text whiteboard
- Secure live streaming
- Polls and surveys
- Simple and easy administration
- Easy moderation / feedback
- Easy collaboration
What are the benefits of virtual classrooms?
Online education provides lower costs, increased flexibility and improved accessibility.
In universities, virtual classrooms have provided opportunities to “enhance their educational brand on a national as well as a global scale”.
According to Walden University, an online classroom provides:
- Freedom to study at a convenient time – potentially 24/7 to suit your business schedule.
- Can be completed in any location – whether in school, at home or elsewhere
- Combines structure with freedom – a virtual classroom can feature set work with deadlines but also the ability to complete a learning pathway to your own schedule
- Interaction with teacher – Students can feel more comfortable in a virtual classroom because they can ask questions through a range of medium – either in group discussion, one-to-one or via chat facility
- Immediate feedback – built in assessments can provide instant feedback to students and effect virtual classrooms can produce progress reports for teachers
- Sharpened digital skills – Using online channels means learners can improve digitals skills and become more confident and productive
During the pandemic it has enabled distance learning, prevented the spread of the virus and provided robust learning.
Ultimately, experts believe virtual learning is here to stay.
To find out about blended learning and it’s benefits, click here.
Benefits of EDClass virtual classroom
EDVirtual from EDClass allows our staff or your staff to aid your learners through a bespoke online platform.
Our system is perfect for hard to reach learners and those students who have difficulty attending a mainstream provision. These include:
- Suspended students
- Students who suffer from anxiety
- Home educated students
- Distance learners
- School phobic
- Students in inclusion units
- Students with mental health issues
- Vulnerable students
- Long-term sick
The EDClass virtual classroom has been developed with safeguarding students as priority. The various safeguarding functions built in will monitor behaviour and safety. Lessons are also recorded and backed-up to ensure safeguarding on all levels.
Lucy Flux, Lead teacher for Targeted Intervention, Springwell Lincolnshire said:
With the system the pressure to perform in front of peers is removed, which has meant that for two particular students attendance has gone from virtually nothing to 80%, which has raised their attainment dramatically. The interface for students is very user friendly, and they actively enjoy their lessons, even those who have previously hated school.
The EDClass virtual classrooms enables teachers to:
- View learners live via a secure server stream
- Interact face-to-face
- View learning progress
- View live answers
- Mentor students (via secure verbal chat or written chat)
- Set a structured pathway for any individual
For more information about our virtual classroom click here or call 01909 568 338.