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Why Educators Need to Embrace Virtual Learning Environments

Nowadays, there’s no such thing as a traditional learning environment. For many years, higher-educational institutions have been migrating to learning online. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated remote learning for everyone from elementary learners to graduate students. While some education providers have risen to the challenge, others have struggled to embrace the virtual learning environments.

Virtual Learning Environments Explained

If you’re an education provider, there’s a good chance you already have experience with virtual learning environments. According to Piktochart, video conferencing platforms have become a lifeline for educators looking to facilitate remote learning. In addition to allowing for collaborative learning, these tools allow educational professionals to maintain clear lines of communication with teams and colleagues.

However, the best online learning platforms need to go beyond basic outreach. They need to provide an engaging virtual environment in which students can thrive. By adopting a few key strategies, it’s easy to fully utilize your platform of choice and ensure your students are getting the most from distance-learning models.

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Streamlined Document and Course Resource Storage

One of the biggest benefits of online learning is that you can say goodbye to reams of paper documents and traditional recordkeeping. Cloud-based systems allow you to keep things like education templates and course syllabus documents in a centralized online database, providing you ready access to crucial information when you need it.

Once these resources have been fully digitized, educators can deliver first-rate teaching from just about anywhere.

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Identify Ways to Make Online learning More Efficient

Just because you’re teaching online, doesn’t mean you’ll be committing fewer hours to any given workday. Remote learning can often prove more time-consuming for educators with little experience in virtual learning environments.

To streamline the remote learning process, identify useful tools that will improve efficiency. Student templates are a must if you want to be able to track virtual attendance, grade performance, and overall progress. What’s more, teacher templates are vital if multiple educators are involved in teaching a single group. In some cases, you may find it easier to lean into automation. Provided you have a ready inventory of video content, online documents, and digital assignments, automating course content can certainly prove beneficial.

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Embrace Digital Innovations

Although purists might discount virtual learning platforms as a second-rate alternative to conventional classrooms, remote learning models can yield big benefits for students and teachers alike. The digital sphere significantly opens up learning experiences for students, with cloud-based options making it easy to incorporate interactive elements that are more likely to engage learners.

Virtual classrooms don’t need to be a barrier to collaborative learning, with real-time exercises and live quizzes an easy way to engage multiple students at once. Educators can also consider incorporating virtual reality exercises into the mix, although this hinges on general accessibility to relevant technology.

Ultimately, educators must maintain clear lines of communication with remote learners when adopting virtual classroom models. It’s easy to overlook the importance of personal connection, which is why tried and tested teaching approaches need to be maintained. Even if virtual learning makes up the bulk of course content, ensure you’re reserving sufficient one-on-one time with students. In the case of younger learners, this may involve maintaining direct communication channels in the form of email or face-to-face interaction in a traditional setting.

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It Is The Future

While all the recent development in this domain was due to the COVID-19 pandemic we can assure you that this was our future all along. Technology evolves every day, and it is hard to tell if it will ever stop to go forward. Because of tech, the manner in which we study changes. When the coronavirus pandemic started we all witnessed this shift. Back in the early 2000s if something like this happened generations would be stripped of their education, or they would have to walk to school in spite of the worldwide pandemic. Now, even with the difficulty of being exposed to a virus which for some was quite deadly, our educative system managed to move forward.

It is evident that technology and science will be able to beat any opponent. In terms of education and the virtual environment intended for it, we’re going to see straightforward movement. Even as we write this piece, things are being done that will change the educational system as we know it. For one, in no time we’re going to have virtual laboratories. In these laboratories, students will be able to experience scientific wonders from their rooms, while an experiment will be conducted live from the school. In other domains, the steps that are being made are even greater. There are plans to recreate museums, historical sites, archaeological periods, and botanic gardens in the virtual world for the students to be able to experience them firsthand without a need for a field trip.

Virtual learning environments are being seen as a thing of the future for a while now while at the same time they’re being developed in front of our noses. Yes, they’re an innovative approach, but they’re also quite available which is something that we partially saw during the pandemic. The future looks bright in this department, and in no time this type of education will be applied in all segments of the society and not only in education and corporative domains. Work from home and education in your bedroom is becoming a norm, and we shouldn’t run from this innovation which came as a surprise but not suddenly at all. Most of the technologies that teachers and students had to face during these harsh two years have been in the making for some time now. In the next few years, this type of educative communication is going to be even more developed.

Because of the speed and the timeline in which it is happening, we’re not going to be forced to use the new technologies that are coming to our doorsteps. No. We’re going to embrace them as they’ll make our jobs easier. I’m not one to brag, but this article is being written from the warmth of my home. The tech I’m using was here for some time now, but it makes life easier compared to the daily commute and the effort of having to deal with office work, colleagues, and the stress it brings to our lives. Imagine what it can do for educators.

About Carolyn Lang