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6 minutes read

Virtual Learning: The New Education Norm

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
6 minutes read

COVID-19 has drastically changed education in ways we never imagined. Not only has the pandemic impacted the way students approach and obtain education, it has also led educators to rethink their teaching methods. Although the days of in-person learning may not quite yet be a thing of the past, one thing’s for sure: the future of education is digital. 

The fact that education does not have to be limited to face-to-face interaction has rapidly transformed the EdTech industry. The pandemic has certainly proven the value of virtual classrooms and has given rise to many other alternatives to in-person teaching. Fortunately, we live in a HiTech world where anything is possible and have just begun to scratch the surface of the innovative solutions that await both students and educators.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the different types of EdTech applications that are taking the world by storm and some of the nuanced e-Learning technology we might expect in the very near future. 

Virtual Classrooms

These days, chalkboards, desks, and lockers are being replaced with online learning environments known as virtual classrooms. A virtual classroom is a digital space in which teachers and students can interact in real time. Similar to an in-person classroom setting, virtual classrooms begin at a set time, enable teachers to present course material, and allow students to ask questions and speak to other classmates. 

However, one of the main advantages of virtual classrooms over traditional classrooms is their ability to accommodate many more students. Since the course is taught over the internet, teachers don’t have to worry about how many students can fit in a physical classroom. While a cap on the number of students that can participate may be imposed, that number is much higher than for a physical classroom, where teachers have to account for a set number of desks and chairs. 

Another advantage of virtual classrooms is the fact that they promote student participation. In a physical classroom setting, there may be well over 100 students, which can often lead to a lack of one-on-one time with teachers or even students feeling as though they are being overlooked. Since everyone shares the same virtual space, students all get equal time and attention.

Lesson Planning Apps

Despite the similarities between in-person and virtual classrooms, there’s a big difference in how lesson plans and curriculums are both structured and implemented. Since there may be a lot more students in a virtual classroom (which can make it much more difficult for students to concentrate), educators have to tweak their teaching methods to make sure their curriculums reflect a more hands-off approach that leave room for students to be able to learn some concepts on their own as well as keep students engaged with the course material. It’s also important to ensure that any projects or experiments that would otherwise require classroom materials can be replicated at home using household items.

Making the switch to online learning can often be challenging, but there are several EdTech apps that can help educators create and present their lesson plans effectively. These educational applications allow teachers to easily design a curriculum, track projects, and even set up calendar reminders. In this sense, e-Learning is much easier since it removes the need for multiple paperwork, folders, and physical calendars, which can be lost or damaged at any time.

Additionally, there are several EdTech apps that help educators with their overall professional development. One such app is LINC, an educator-focused resource that coaches teachers and offers a myriad of personalized solutions to help them become more intune with their students’ needs and make a smoother transition from in-person to virtual classrooms. 

Cloud Storage Apps

Similar to how lesson planning EdTech apps do away with the bulky folders and paperwork, so too can cloud storage applications. Apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, and others allow students and teachers to upload and review documents, leave comments, and even have conversations. 

Files can be conveniently parsed into different folders to make it quick and easy to find them. Plus, the files remain available so no need to worry about losing any physical files. These apps are relatively low-cost and many are even available free of charge. 

Educational Insight Apps

Given that virtual classrooms reduce the level of personal interaction and make it harder to really keep an eye on students’ progress, some EdTech apps are able to analyze student data to help educators determine what teaching methods work and which should be modified. 

One such app is Watermark, an intuitive EdTech app that was specifically designed for higher education use. The app helps educators collect and review data, automate workflows, and provides insights that can help improve teaching models and student success. The app also saves educators time by streamlining curriculum planning, management, and reporting.

The Next Wave of e-Learning Technology

As EdTech continues to evolve, so too will the e-Learning space. We can expect a lot more HiTech systems to be involved in facilitating education, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and even robotic “teachers” or classroom assistants. VR and AR systems can create a space that closely resembles in-person learning without having to socially distance. 

Robotic teachers or assistants can be programmed and operated by actual teachers and pass out or collect materials. While they can’t replace actual teachers, robots can help with more basic tasks and can even work in tandem with teachers, serving as a kind of artificial body by which teachers can move around a classroom and see through the “eyes” of the robot. This technology has already been implemented in China, but we have yet to see if other countries will adopt a similar plan and how involved the robots will be in the classroom.

Create an Innovative EdTech App Today

There’s no doubt that EdTech has facilitated e-Learning for both teachers and students. Whether by means of a hybrid remote-physical learning setting or a fully remote environment, since virtual classrooms are likely here to stay, the future of education certainly lies in innovative applications that can help teachers and students succeed. 

If you have an idea for an EdTech app, Koombea can help. Our app developers have created dozens of educational applications and can bring your concept to life. Contact us today to learn more about our services and discuss the best strategy for your app.

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