BY: ANKITA SHARMA, VIDHYARTHI DARPAN
In recent years, Virtual Learning has taken over the education industry by storm. The brick-and-mortar institutions remain the base foundation of the temple of knowledge, but the technological advancements have compelled enthusiastic learners to tread with changes. Virtual Learning, also known as Online Education, has provided a digital way to enhance existing data into a more abridged form to reach expanse people.
Virtual learning is a digitally convenient method to impart education to distant people without physically being there. It uses internet-related software and digital tools – be it recorded or live classes – to aid in dispensing information in virtual mode. Apart from this, its flexibility and self-paced schedule attract already employed people seeking part-time courses for skill-building.
Since adopting virtual learning has become popular among educators, many have an improper understanding of how it works.
Here are nine myths that might have caused uncertainty among parents in choosing Virtual Learning for educating their child; and facts to bust those myths!
#Myth 1: Virtual Learning is a piece of cake.
Fact: Do not be mistaken. Virtual Learning is not sitting in front of the computer, watching videos play on their own. An accredited program offered by universities conducts annual virtual exams for evaluation. With stringent rules and a determined syllabus, online classes demand absolute focus and self-motivation that challenges students, just as seen in on-campus lectures. Through virtual learning, qualities like time management, initiative, expression, speed of decision, organizational ability, social adaptability, increased self-confidence, and self-growth are incorporated into a child’s temperament. While the program is self-paced, students need to practice self-discipline and stay motivated on desired goals. Everything is similar to the on-campus experience except physical presence.
#Myth 2: Virtual teaching is easier for teachers
Fact: Assuming that teachers do not find any difficulty conducting classes with some faces on a white screen will be incorrect. Most of the lecturers have expertise in chalk-blackboard teaching. The dawn of technology has, indeed, over-simplified the pedagogy of subjects by introducing interactive animations, virtual tools, software, design conferences, etc. at the tip of the fingers but getting acquainted with such tools requires prior training. Teachers persistently endeavor and explore creative & engaging ways to blend fun and learning together.
#Myth 3: There is no personal attention to individual students
Fact: In a class on 30, it is not plausible to check on every student’s performance at a particular instant – whether it be an in-person or virtual lecture. However, the upper-hand digital learning has, is in its ability to keep account of past performances in a record library. There are collaborative discussion forums, archives, study material in the form of pdf, informative videos, student-teacher doubt clearance sessions; concisely, individualistic attention is present. Social mindfulness is also an important trait one must possess to ace in the learning process.
#Myth 4: Virtual learning is monotonous and uninspiring
Fact: From a third-person point of view, it may seem you are merely listening but, in all reality, the lectures imparted virtually is more than that! Unlike traditional classes, virtual ones are digitalized with awesome activities. From interactive group projects (lets you socialize with peers off lectures) to individual tasks (lets you explore your understanding of the topics), virtual learning is a platform to bring out your creative and out-of-the-box thinking. Many efforts are taken by educators to provide engaging, accurate, and quality content to the students.
#Myth 5: Employers do not entertain virtually earned degrees
Fact: The internet is brimming with many valuable degree courses offered by accredited universities. The best thing about online learning is that you can opt for distance education in institutions far away, without any difficulty. You will be surprised at how many renowned universities invest in online learning. Nowadays, companies oblige suitable skillset with experience in the required field to employ students; it does not matter if you have taken education virtually or at brick-or-mortar college. Since most of the transactions are online, knowledge of added digital skills will be a cherry on the cake in your career prospectus!
#Myth 6: Virtual learning require costly technology
Fact: Online learning mandates internet connection, general knowledge of how the system works that may appear pricey. But studying at home is cost-effective in terms of traveling, hostel (& mess) charges, and buying stationery articles (textbooks & writing materials) compared to the traditional classroom programs. Anyhow, modern technology is evolving as much as the people utilizing its benefits at a cheaper rate. Therefore, the education sector is also adopting them to their advantage.
#Myth 7: Virtual learning lacks human touch and interaction
Fact: The fear of social isolation clouds the student’s mind when thinking about virtually attending classes. This fear is irrational and inaccurate. Regular group projects, presentations, fun educational activities, and discussions happen to accommodate sufficient peer interaction. Besides that, students get to communicate with classmates from different communities and the country altogether. It is agreeable that one-to-one interaction and discussions let you connect better with the other person but, the ease and comfortability of virtual learning cannot be neglected.
#Myth 8: Cheating is prevalent during tests held online
Fact: Due to the availability of stringent exam software, extensive technical tools to prevent counterfeiting projects & home works, remote proctor system that ensure smooth & sincere functioning of the online exam protocols, students cannot think of deceiving teachers. Not only this, but technology has also made it easier to record each session for close scrutinization of the viewer’s movements.
#Myth 9: Screen time harms students’ eyesight and cause distraction
Fact: Uncontrolled exposure to blue light that comes from the white screen is unhealthy. It is why virtual classes are structured and disseminated in a way that includes a release of the cognitive burden by engaging in interactive activities, such as quizzes, playful exercises, and frequent breaks, etc. For children between 2-12, the prescribed time spent in virtual classes is 2 hours, at most. For teens and adults, however, a maximum of 3 hours of continuous screen time is manageable.
Virtual Learning is a futuristic approach to gaining knowledge and experience in varying fields when unprecedented situations arise. It has all the benefits one expects in online education. Virtual Learning demands commitment and persistence to achieve desired goals. It is evident in the current scenario that the digitalization of education will favor the development of a well-informed society.