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As the back to school season dawns and more and more schools open up around the world, many schools still have the option of virtual or hybrid learning. The education industry has seen some big changes in the last two years, and it’s continuing to change. At first, it was overwhelming for many learners and educators to be in an unfamiliar environment. But we at VIPKid (and countless others around the industry) worked hard to provide guides to help everyone adjust to the new normal.
Nowadays, we’ve seen just how many advantages there are to a more digital classroom. Whether it’s for traditional schooling or as more supplementary learning, let’s look at nine big advantages that virtual learning offers.
Accessibility is the most obvious advantage of online and hybrid learning, but it’s arguably the most important advantage as well. The more people that have access to something, the better. And with virtual learning, virtually everyone (yes, pun intended) is able to access it in some way.
Those without personal devices or fast wi-fi are able to take classes in libraries or other public spaces. Learners with disabilities have more tools available than ever in the online classroom to help cater to their needs. And classes are available no matter where you are in the world! As technology continues to improve, the accessibility of virtual learning will only continue to improve with it.
2. Wider range of learning opportunities
In traditional classrooms, your learning options are limited to those offered in your area. This can discourage potential learners from seeking out learning opportunities in a subject they’re interested in, and the learning process never even gets off the ground.
But with virtual and hybrid learning, those limitations practically disappear. Whether you want to learn a new language, skill, or hobby, odds are good that someone on the internet is teaching it (and teaching it well). In the online classroom, the world is your oyster! Whatever you want to learn, it’s out there. Go find it!
Flexibility is a major advantage of virtual learning. Whether you’re taking care of kids at home, working around your child’s crazy schedule, or trying to fit some extra learning in around your job, there’s a virtual learning solution for you. But schedule flexibility is just one part of it.
There’s also flexibility in the style of learning you choose to pursue. If you want to work directly with a teacher and have more personalized interaction, you can choose a platform that offers more one-on-one lessons (like VIPKid). Maybe you’re the type of person who prefers learning in a larger classroom setting and breaking into small groups for projects, you can do that too! Or maybe you don’t want a live interaction at all, and you’d rather learn through pre-recorded videos, exercises, and reading. Whatever your learning style is, it’s possible through virtual learning.
4. Lower cost
Most of the time, it’s less expensive to take lessons in an online classroom versus a traditional brick and mortar school building. The lower cost of materials required for teachers means a lower cost for students to enroll! Less expensive classes allow for students to save money, but they also lower the barrier of entry for those who might not have otherwise been able to afford to learn a new skill. When the cost is lower, everyone wins!
5. Available to all ages
Many older people often cite embarrassment when going back to school or taking lessons for the first time. Oftentimes, schooling and lessons are viewed as only being for young people. While that isn’t the case in any learning environment, it certainly isn’t the case in the online classroom.
Virtual learning isn’t just an option for those under a certain age. No matter how old you are, you can find virtual learning opportunities in whatever you’re interested in! As long as you’ve got a device and an internet connection, your possibilities are nearly endless. So don’t just sign your kids up for lessons. Sign yourself up, and encourage your parents and even your grandparents. The online classroom is open for all ages!
6. More personal structure
In the traditional classroom, teachers have to focus on moving the curriculum forward. And too often, there’s not any time or place to personally check in on students and make sure they’re getting the material they need. In online teaching, classes are often smaller or even limited to one-on-one lessons, allowing teachers to hone in on students’ strengths and weaknesses. This allows for more focused, relevant teaching material, leading to a more personal structure and a better classroom experience.
7. Global connections
Forming connections is one of the most enjoyable things about being in the classroom, whether it’s your teacher or another student you really click with. One of the best parts about virtual learning is that those connections can be with people all over the world. Being exposed to people from different cultures and different walks of life, whether they live in your neighborhood, across the country, or on the other side of the world – that’s just what makes online learning so special!
8. Exposure to new technology
Technology is changing and growing all the time. By choosing virtual classes, you’re exposing yourself or your child to technology that might not have been used otherwise. And by being exposed to new technology, you’re picking up new skills without even realizing it.
9. More room for creativity
In many ways, the traditional classroom has remained unchanged for decades (or in some cases, over a century). The teacher stands in front of the class and lectures everyone at once, writes notes on the whiteboard, and assigns worksheets at the end of class. There’s nothing objectively wrong with that, but why shouldn’t education move into the 21st century?
With virtual and hybrid learning, there are more opportunities for teachers and students alike to express creativity in their lecture materials and assignments. The technology available allows for all parties to participate in a more unique learning experience, helping students, teachers, and even parents!