How Virtual Classrooms Are Rapidly Changing The School Education System

Pallavi Upadhyaya, Principal, DPS Rajnagar ExtensionA Postgraduate in Zoology, Pallavi has over two decades of experience in the teaching field, during which she was associated with Delhi Pubic School and Civil Lines Aligarh, prior to joining DPS.

Digital technology has touched every aspect of our lives, and education has not been immune to this. In the new age, learning spaces like traditional classrooms have now expanded far beyond four walls of an institute/school. For students, such spaces allow collaboration, interaction and discussions through technology that digitally connects the learners to knowledge sources all around the world.

Technology has touched every sector of our economy, but none more than education. The rise of internet has completely changed the educational landscape. Many primary schools and higher learning centres now provide every student with a laptop or tablet. Always interested in the advantages of portability, a growing number of students access con-tent delivery platforms on their smart phones. Technology has evolved education to such an extent that it has affected education models and teaching techniques.

Virtual education makes students flexible, adaptive and creative. Stu-dent learning is more self-directed and collaborative, and teachers take note of individual strengths of each child. The virtual classroom model removes all geographical barriers, they are quicker to organise, and sessions can be recorded for future reference. Also, virtual schools
make available a world of new courses ­ from obscure electives to advanced placement classes that challenge students intellectually and open up new doors educationally.

For teachers in training, this can be a great and valuable experience, as classroom management is one of the most difficult aspects of teaching, and many teacher prep programs ignore this key skill. Using the virtual classroom allows teachers to practice addressing difficult situations for the upcoming future tasks.

Practicing with the virtual classroom trainer can build a future teacher's confidence. Once they've mastered the virtual classroom, stepping into a real classroom with real students may be less unapproachable, but the virtual classroom gives future teachers a chance to practice in delivering lessons to an audience which will look similar when they face a classroom full of kids.

Virtual education makes students flexible, adaptive and creative, wherein student learning is more self-directed & collaborative, and teachers take note of individual strengths of each child

Another benefit to the virtual classroom is the ability for teachers to get instant feedback, whereas teaching in classrooms, students can't tell you exactly where you went wrong in teaching them. But as we all know, technology also has its fair share of disadvantages, and even virtual classrooms have a few to name. These classrooms take away the charm of learning by doing; they miss-out on the real experiences. Also, keeping a check on the students becomes a challenge. The rise in cybercrimes further adds-up to the challenge of security.

Online classes that happen in real time are also highly interactive and help in engaging students for e-learning as well. Students may have the ability to ask questions and have them answered by the virtual teacher right away. Students from varying cultures and geographic areas have the ability to talk to one another, brainstorm and trouble-shoot solutions & ideals.

The virtual classroom is a classroom without limitations, and it's a challenging tool for today's students as they expand their minds and opportunities and open-up doors which have been closed while studying in class-rooms. All in all, I feel that virtual classrooms can be a great support system to the traditional schools when used judiciously.