When the world we live in changes continuously, with more advanced technology emerging each day, it is hard not to wonder about how it can transform key aspects of our lives. How we interact, shop, communicate and even pay the bills has changed dramatically over the past decade. Likewise, the way we learn is shifting, and our taste for freedom and flexibility is shaping our working patterns and schedules. We now find ourselves swapping chalk with styluses, blackboards with projector screens, heavy books and library passes with tablets and e-readers.

advantages of virtual classrooms

More and more of us no longer study in classrooms, but in the comfort of our living rooms and on our laptops. In more than one way, the dynamics of the entire process of education is shifting from being a people dependent, palpable interaction into a more personal, yet collective learning experience. But how is the shift in the way we gather and absorb information benefiting us?

Affordability

Harvard, Berkeley and MIT alone have put more than 300 lecture hours online, for free. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are tailored to be free and open to anyone, while other online platforms designed for learning are made inexpensive for users. There is a wide range of classes, from French to acting, computer science, public speaking, corporate finance, and so on. Platforms like Preply.com connect students with a variety of instructors that can meet their needs and budget. If you want to a find a math tutor online, for instance, all you have to do is log in on the platform and look for the perfect fit.

Convenience and Flexibility

Online learning systems give students the newfound freedom to work and attend classes simultaneously without having to be limited by time and location. You can attend the classes you desire at any time and from any remote location. This type of classes also come as an aid to stay-at-home moms and people with learning or locomotor impairment by offering a wide variety of courses and assignments just a few clicks away.

On the other side, schedule and class duration are fixed and pre-decided in the case of brick classrooms, with both the teachers and the students having little to say about this decision.

Modern Teaching Techniques and Learning

In virtual classrooms, teachers use different multimedia tools, such as animation, 3D tools, interactive modules and narrated textbooks to improve learning and maintain focus. Students can then access and repeat the information until they become familiar with it.

Learning Environment

While learning in traditional classrooms can be dull, and fun is kept to a minimum to maintain discipline, learning in an online classroom can be stimulating and entertaining, and students can freely interact or discuss classroom topics.

Customizability

Online education classes offer students the flexibility to decide every aspect of their learning process: when, where, what, how and how much.

Instant Feedback

Instead of having to wait for weeks to get a score on an exam or an assignment, you can access that information as soon as it becomes available online, without having to spend a dreadful amount of time waiting for the results.

Virtual classrooms are a new, appealing, high-tech, and experimental concept at this point, but incredibly helpful, insightful and broadly accessible. With the traditional classrooms we grew up with, the methodologies applied are predictable, well-tested, and represent the familiar environment that helped shape generations before us. However, they do have their limitations. Neither of the two offers the perfect solution for flawless learning climate but teaches us that they cannot be fully replaced with online learning systems just yet and a symbiosis of the two might be our ideal solution for the time being.

About the author

Alex Roman

Independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest. I really love what i do!

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