Why The Virtual Classroom Wont Overtake The Traditional Classroom

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During the last 6 months we have very much had to adapt to a new normal as this pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has changed just about every corner of our lives. There have been concerns over business during this time, health, mental health and many other facets of what we all consider to be normality which have been completely altered. One area in particular where we quickly needed to address was the education of our kids after the schools closed down. Initially we put focus on parents to home school their children but of course this was very challenging as so many of them had to work and try to find the time to offer teaching. There were also a number of parents who just didn’t feel capable of doing this.

The virtual classroom came as a godsend to many and through this medium teachers and schools have been able to help their kids to stay on top of their studies and to continue their education in some capacity. Virtual classrooms have allowed teachers to take their classes and to help them with all manner of issues, but will the virtual classroom eventually be the new normal?

Benefits

There are of course some clear benefits to using this type of classroom software. The biggest benefit is of course that schools wouldn’t have to offer a physical premises any longer which would mean some big cost savings. Another benefit is of course that students would be able to ‘go to class’ no matter where they happen to be. Despite the very clear benefits which a virtual classroom is able to offer students around the world, especially during a quarantine situation, it is very clear that this will not be the future of schooling, and whilst virtual classrooms may be used on occasion, it will not become the new normal.

Discipline

There are a number of negatives which can be found with regards to the virtual classroom and one of those is the ability to keep discipline. As many of you will know, having lived through it yourself, there is always some kid who will try their best to be creative in trying to get away with not listening, not doing work or not attending class, and a virtual situation makes that all the more tempting. There is also the fact that someone could be talking whilst the teacher is and that would go unnoticed. Basically the virtual classroom makes keeping discipline extremely hard for a teacher.

Using Resources

Kids being at home behind a computer screen mean that they can easily get their hands on resources like phones without the teacher knowing. This could easily allow students to be texting friends or even looking up answers to questions. We know that in almost every classroom around the world that hones are not allowed for these reasons, yet a virtual classroom situation would make it very difficult to manage and to monitor.

Social Skills and Experiences

School is about so much more than just the classroom environment, it is also about learning social skills, about learning who you are. If kids no longer go to school because they rely entirely on a virtual classroom situation then those kids are going to miss out on an enormous part of their development in terms of those social skills and the experiences which only the school setting can provide. This is probably the most compelling reason as to why the virtual classroom will absolutely not be taking over from the traditional attending of a brick and mortar school setting.

Care of The Children

Even during the lockdown there have been some parents who have struggled to find the time or the flexibility to give their kids the care that they need. If we decided to switch entirely to a virtual system then who would be looking after those kids? When things get back up and running again parents will go back to work and that means that the kids are going to be on their own in the home, or heading back to school, which do you think is most likely out of those two options? We have to remember that school is not just a place to learn, but it is also a way in which we can ensure that our kids are being properly looked after whilst the parents are working. There is no way that you could just switch to a virtual setup and somehow expect those parents to find the way in which their kids can be looked after.

Buying In

Science also backs up the fact that the virtual classroom will never be able to take the place of a physical classroom. The reason for this is that it has been proven that students just do not engage with a computer in the same way that they engage with a person. We all knew at the beginning of this pandemic that the virtual teaching would not be a perfect replacement but rather that it would be the best that we could possibly do given the situation. To suggest that kids will open up the laptop or their desktop and instantly tune in like they would when they enter a classroom and their teacher says ‘quiet’ is plain wrong and ultimately to go virtual would give students a far harder education which would see them not engaging at the level to which they would when they actually attend school.

Ultimately it may sound like a good idea to teach everything virtually but the reality is that it just wouldn’t work on a practical level. It may very well be that in the future we create some kind of hybrid education which uses virtual teaching in certain aspects of it, where it could be beneficial to both school and student, at the movement however what is abundantly clear is that we need to get our kids back to school sooner rather than later.