Over the years, the Indian education system has evolved on modern lines. The curriculum has imbibed more aspects of the first world education system. However, it has retained its individualistic teaching methodology and focuses on holistic learning. We have all observed how online teaching and learning have become an integral part of our education system in the last two years. The recent trends in our education system are also evolving rapidly with schools employing smartboards, audio-visual aids and other digitised technology equipped teaching aids to build a methodology that is centred around the all-round development of the child.
During the past few years, we have noticed a pattern of digitisation within our education system. There has been a marked rise in digital presentations, e-learning programmes, video modules and online classes. Due to the global pandemic, there has been a growing inclination towards online schooling. This has given virtual schools a solid footing in our education system. Digital learning practices in India are evolving and are expected to co-exist with the traditional educational system.
Parents however should not confuse virtual schooling with homeschooling. Victual schools are similar to brick-and-mortar schools in the sense that they have an approved curriculum that is taught to the students by registered teachers. The only difference is that the teaching and learning procedure takes place online.
In most virtual schools, the curriculum is taught through two parts - Live sessions and Coursework. For each of the subjects, the students attend live sessions, usually once a week per subject. The teacher communicates with the class through a microphone, shares slides showing information, and videos or makes use of a virtual whiteboard. Students interact by using the chatbox and other tools incorporated within the website which varies from one virtual school to another. Live sessions comprise 40% of the curriculum whereas coursework takes up 60%. Coursework comprises assignments given to students by the teachers. These assignments can range from reading study materials shared by the teacher in the form of soft copies on the computer or textbooks provided to students. Occasionally, they can be assigned essays, worksheets, virtual science experiments and discussions. Students are given "due- dates" for the submission of coursework. Due dates may come up once or twice a week depending on the individual pedagogy of individual virtual schools.
Let us take a look at why more students are opting for virtual schooling. Here are a few reasons why:
The new generation of parents are more familiar with technology and in some cases, their work demands travelling frequently. Integration of virtual schools in our education system is a boon for this demography. Virtual schools provide high-quality education with certified curriculums and a respite to parents and students from the grounded nature of traditional schooling. Studies have also shown that virtual teaching produces better retention in students. All these factors coupled with the consistency that virtual schooling provides will certainly lead to virtual schooling gaining a solid footing in our educational system in the immediate future.