In today’s increasingly digital world, online education is gaining traction as a convenient and potentially more powerful way of learning — and the distance challenges presented in 2020 accelerated the growth of virtual classroom technology. Amid COVID-19 restrictions, innovation was mandatory for every industry to successfully continue functioning from a distance. In a field as necessary as education, finding alternatives capable of engaging students without any lost value is crucial – and some digital tools for the classroom proved able to enhance the learning experience from afar.
With unforeseen benefits of remote teaching making themselves apparent over the past year, the case to continue integrating virtual learning tools within the classic classroom setting in a post-COVID environment is strong – especially as educators seek ways to improve teaching and learning to optimize student success. Scroll down for five unique advantages of embracing virtual tools in the traditional classroom.
1. Encourages Instructor Collaboration
Embracing digital tools for the classroom has changed the way educators and students alike communicate. With the increased use of virtual communication tools, teachers have been given access to platforms that allow them to easily share lesson plans, resources, and participate in large-scale chats that ultimately bring faculty together in a way not typically possible within large school districts and establishments. With the increased ability to collaborate, opportunities for educators to continually improve their methods and curriculum are endless, and the resulting benefits strengthen the learning experience both in person and remotely
2. Allows Flexible Scheduling
With the option to access coursework from anywhere at any time, students have the freedom to study and complete coursework around their own schedule as opposed to exclusively being confined to set class times. With the classroom right in your pocket even after you leave campus, students can access key materials at the most optimal time for their own personal learning experience, plus foster skills in effective time management. On the other side of the screen, teachers have increased freedom to record lectures ahead of time, access student work on a more immediate basis, and quickly distribute messages to classes when needed — excellent tools to encourage student preparedness and enhance the in-person classroom experience. Additionally, a virtual hybrid classroom setting brings back the ease of collaborative group meetings regardless of each participant’s location or physical accessibility.
3. Enhances Student Engagement
Encouraging student engagement can be a challenge for even the most experienced of teachers. Somewhat surprisingly, using remote learning and digital content in the classroom has opened new opportunities for students to easily engage. Outside of the classic school atmosphere, students with anxieties about public speaking and participation can more easily enter the conversation – especially through digital tools like messaging boards, online polls, surveys, and virtual presentations. Additionally, the ability to incorporate visual learning tools through online platforms engages students in a fresh way that goes beyond the standard lecture experience and provides fresh support for visual learners. Finally, instructors have immediate performance and interaction data to improve the areas of focus, even for individual students, further bridging the student-teacher reciprocity.
4. Improved Accessibility and Inclusivity
Digital tools for the classroom have proved revolutionary in enhancing accessibility to education for students with handicaps of all kinds, from physical limitations to learning disabilities. Regardless of physical health or mobility, any student can easily engage in the classroom without missing any element of the learning experience – provided they’re ensured access to a device and stable internet connection. Additionally, using digital content in the classroom allows students constant access to their coursework, 24 hours a day – a key benefit for any students who require additional learning time to succeed. By integrating these tools into a hybrid classroom setting, educators can easily address all different types of learning styles both in person and remotely, maximizing success for their students.
5. Greater Digital Literacy
It’s no secret that new virtual learning tools are here to stay. Therefore, digital literacy is crucial for the continued success of students, even beyond their education and into their professional lives. Incorporating virtual learning tools into traditional curriculum allows students to hone their digital skills and gain confidence using sophisticated online learning technology – experience that will translate positively in any field. A hybrid classroom setting encourages students to foster communication skills both in person and remotely, a key talent in an increasingly digital world.
Create Engaging Classrooms with McCann Systems
When it comes to education, reliable communication tools are crucial for both student and educator to succeed. As your single-source audiovisual services provider, we’re here to ensure you can make meaningful connections from wherever, whenever. Learn more about our services here.