When you think about a classroom, you are likely to envision a room with rows of tables and chairs in neat lines, forming columns and rows. The teacher will be at the front of the room, explaining whatever it is that they are teaching to their class, students deep in thought at the table. This may be the traditional classroom, but it certainly isn’t the classroom of the 21st century.
Today, people no longer go into classrooms much. Because everything is online, and thanks to advances in virtual classroom software, people now attend classrooms from the comfort of their own home, with a screen in front of them. Now, a classroom is an imaginary room, where teachers can have individual contact with their students, and where students can communicate together as well. It can be hard to imagine exactly how this works if you have never been to a virtual classroom, but it is a proven to be effective method. If you look at the fact that many bachelor and master’s degree being offered 100% online, it becomes clear that this really works.
The world has advanced in a range of different fields, often so fast that it is hard to even keep up. The internet is one such example. It has so many different applications that it is hard to get your head around it. However, the concept is actually quite simple. A student downloads and installs a piece of software onto their computer, connects to the internet, and is then able to interact with their teachers and fellow students, regardless of where in the world they are. The software itself is very simply to understand. Essentially, it creates a spot on the internet that takes the place of a classroom. Those who have the right credentials to enter these spaces can then use it to learn and interact.
Advantages of Virtual Classrooms
There are a number of clear advantages to using virtual classrooms:
- It offers fantastic time saving opportunities, since students no longer have to travel to school, nor does the teacher. This means classes can always begin on time.
- The systems are very easy to use, which means no specific skills are needed in order to use it.
- It is very easy to communicate directly with a teacher directly, either during, before, or after the classes. In fact, students find that they feel more heard by studying in a virtual classroom.
- It offers the opportunity to network with fellow students, albeit in a virtual way.
Disadvantages of Virtual Classrooms
There are few disadvantages to this form of learning, but nothing is perfect. As such:
- Virtual learning isn’t for everybody. Some people need real interaction and a real place to go in order to be motivate enough to actually complete the program.
- All interaction is virtual, which means some people feel they lack the human touch.
The classroom of the 21st century has changed, and this has opened some fantastic new doors. The virtual classroom, therefore, is no longer a thing of the future, it is here now.