BlogOnline education and virtual education – what arethey all about and how should they look?

15 March 2021by yetiz_user

What is virtual education all about? We explain why it's worth learning at virtual school and for whom will this be a good choice.

What is online education?

The process is based mainly – or completely – ononlinelearning, in which students – through this medium – receive instructions, exercises and educational materials.

There are different models of online education – from those that supply materials to for students to use in independent study to those composed of completely interactive and engaging online lessons, where students have contact with teachers and each other. There are also various differenceswithin interactive lessons themselves – you can work in groups of several people or take part in classes and lectures with several dozen or more people. Such large groups, however, are very rare and occur more often in higher education settings, for symposiums and specialist conferences.

While for higher education, this system of learning has functioned for a while to some degree (for example e-learning platforms for students), for elementary school this was, in most instances (and still is), something completely new.

 

How does online education look?

There are many ways of conducting virtual lessons. It all depends on the teaching model of the particular school or institutions. Education can be conducted with asynchronistic methods – or those in which the student receives materials and tasks to complete by themselves within a certain timeframe. This takes place individually, at one’s own speed and requires self-discipline and concentration. These methods are not recommended for work with early school-age children.

On the other end of the spectrum are synchronistic lesson methods, where the classes take place online in real time and teachers and students interact during lessons. This usually takes place through an audio/visual connection, supported by chat. There are also additional external tools that are used to facilitate work on tasks.

Luckily, there are also methods that combine both. A hybrid model of virtual education combines asynchronistic elements with interactive live lessons, using concrete methods depending on a students’ needs or the teaching program of a particular school.

 

Why should you choose virtual education?

  1. It allows students to adjust the time and schedule of lessons to their needs and that of their family. Live lessons have a set date and time, but being able to replay them later allows for freedom in planning one’s time. This is very helpful for families who travel a lot and spend a great deal of time out of their country of residence.
  2. Active parental support is a very important aspect of virtual education, especially with younger students. At first glance, this may not seem like a positive thing, but there are many advantages for children. Thanks to the engagement and support of a close, trusted person, children experience lower levels of stress and students, especially younger ones, get better grades at school than their peers in traditional schools.
  3. This form of education is also very flexible in terms of the learning process itself. It allows for a better tailoring of the program to the needs and capabilities of the student and allows for them to work at their own pace, without external pressure. An individual approach allows for a better understanding of, and direction of, the student’s potential, supporting areas that are in accordance with his or her interests.

 

Virtual teaching – how to do it well?

In the world, there are many schools that, with greater or lesser success, conduct online education. The airing of a lesson or lecture, and even its recording and uploading aren’t a problem. They key is to pass on the knowledge to students in an appropriate way. They need to be encouraged to be active and enter into an interaction. Engaging students is the biggest challenge for teachers.

It is so important for parents to choose a school with rich experience teaching using different methods anddifferent forms. A school with a good reputation in a traditional setting doesn’t necessarily have a top-quality virtual program.

At Polish-American WWW School, we take advantage of the years of personal experience as well as that of our partners, including Pearson – a global expert in traditional and virtual education with over 30 years of experience. Thanks to this close cooperation, we are able to provide our students with high quality virtual education. We base our program on the highly regarded Live Lessons, which are recorded so that students can return to them and repeat, or catch up with, material. Many of our lessons are also available on-demand, but this doesn’t mean that we just provide materials for these lessons. Our teachers are always readily available and students can contact them at any time to ask a question, schedule tutoring or ask for help. We function in a hybrid system so as to best adjust to the needs and lifestyle of our students and their families. We combine the best of virtual education and traditional schools.

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