Virtual learning, whether a homeschooling family chooses it or an unexpected circumstance such as the COVID-19 pandemic requires it, may seem daunting. At times, parents can struggle to recognize virtual learning benefits, but they do exist. By recognizing these benefits, parents can make their kids’ virtual learning experience more educational and enjoyable.
Virtual Learning Meaning
Virtual learning is known by many names including online learning, remote learning, distance learning, and digital learning. At its core, it’s using technology as a tool to connect educators with students instead of using a building where they physically connect. This type of learning has been available for decades, particularly at the college level, but it's become an increasingly popular option for parents who want their K-12 children to learn at home.
Even traditional homeschoolers sometimes choose to do a hybrid model of in-person instruction and virtual learning. Recently, parents who never expected to have their children learn remotely have found themselves grappling with their students learning at home because of the pandemic.
In the fall of 2020, it’s estimated that between 40% and 60% of US school districts went to full remote learning, according to NPR. Some other districts opted for a model where students stayed home some days and attended school in person on other days.
Regardless of why children are learning from home, there are bound to be virtual learning pros and cons. Focusing on the virtual learning benefits can be key in improving results of online schooling.
Virtual Learning Vs. Traditional Learning
Parents who are accustomed to sending their children to a school building for their education may wonder, “How does virtual learning work?” Virtual learning works by connecting educators with students through technology, usually a laptop or computer.
At a set time, students log into their virtual classroom where their teacher engages the whole class with lessons, discussions, and activities. Students can interact with teachers and other students through text chats or by using a microphone on their device to speak audibly.
Traditional learning, of course, takes place in a school classroom with teachers and students face to face. Students are all together, and they interact with the teacher and each other in person. Teachers can lecture the entire class at once, or they can work with small groups or individual students. While it may seem this is a better model than virtual learning, by embracing the edge that remote learning has in certain areas, a student’s experience can be enhanced.
Advantages of Virtual Learning
Of course there are both virtual learning advantages and disadvantages, but recognizing and embracing the advantages may counterbalance what some see as disadvantages. What are some of the benefits of the virtual learning experience?
Virtual Learning Tips for Parents
The advantages of virtual learning aren’t simply for students. Here’s a tip: parents have some advantages when kids are virtually learning, too. Here are a few of them.
By focusing on these advantages of virtual learning, students and parents can get more out of the virtual learning experience, regardless of the reasons why they are learning from home.