107

Evolution and Advantages of Virtual Schools

Education Education
6-8 6-8
Shraya Saha
3 months ago
Evolution and Advantages of Virtual Schools

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.

 

How do Virtual Schools Function?

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. 

 

What are the advantages of Virtual Schools?

  1. Flexibility: In a traditional school, students are obliged to follow a set routine every week where a set amount of time is allotted for each class followed by daily homework. With virtual school, very little of a student’s time is occupied for live sessions and most of the time, it is up to the students to figure out how to get the work done. Students in virtual schools do not spend an hour on each class. Instead, they spend the time they need. In case students miss a live session, they can always fall back on the recordings! Students are in control of how they manage their time.
  2. Office Hours: Sometimes students do not understand the lesson by reading the materials and thus need help from a teacher. All teachers hold regular office hours which serve as extra live sessions so that students can get the help they need. Sometimes, teachers even set up 'one-on-one' sessions when students need extra help or are unable to make it to the live sessions.
  3. The comfort of being at home: Not having to commute to school on a daily basis and doing the necessary work from the comfort of their own homes is a dream come true for many students. Students can also attend classes while travelling and other places conveniently when they opt for virtual schooling.
  4. Extra-Curricular: One of the amazing features of virtual schools is that students can also participate in extra-curricular activities in their local school district. Usually, virtual schools have ties or arrangements with local schools so that students do not miss out on extra-curricular activities. The fact that virtual schools organize various field trips and group activities throughout the school year for students to participate in should not go unnoticed. These are great opportunities to meet other students who have opted for virtual schooling as well as the teachers.
  5. The number of School Days: While it may be annoying for students, parents would agree that it is a good thing that virtual school students have more school days in a year. Traditional schoolers may get a rainy day off but virtual schoolers have fewer excuses to miss school.

Let us take a look at why more students are opting for virtual schooling. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • Most students want a change from their local school systems.
  • Students wanting or requiring more flexibility.
  • The desire for a safer learning environment.
  • A growing percentage of parents want more involvement in their child’s education.
  •  Students who have health concerns or medical issues.
  • Students that have experienced bullying in its varied forms in previous schools. 
  • Students that are more involved in sports or arts wanting more autonomy in their time management.

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.

 

Explore Virtual Schools

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
TAGS
• education
• Online schooling
• Virtual Schools