The New Way to Learn Online

You can compare it to changing from a manual transmission into an automatic go to my blog. It should be much easier, but takes some getting used to. Virtual classrooms no longer serve as a secondary option for learning. They are the preferred method for many. What does all this mean, both for students and teachers? Peel back the layers.

First of all, managing a classroom online requires both traditional teaching skills and tech-savvy agility. Imagine a situation where a teacher has to be an expert both in their field as well as able solve problems with poor internet connections while delivering lessons. You can’t sing and dance simultaneously.

Students are affected the most. Imagine trying to absorb calculus while staring at the screen before 8AM. Learning ballet from a book can be difficult, but is still possible. The students must be more responsible in their education, as they are not physically present. Digital platforms must be used instead of students raising their hands in class.

When you are not creative, it may be difficult to participate in online forums. Some educators are using technology in ways that go beyond traditional lectures. Think of interactive questions during a video or forums in which students discuss ideas, just like they might at a campus espresso shop.

But let’s talk interaction–everyone’s favorite part! Online courses have the potential to be either a bridge that connects students globally or a silo which isolates them. The art of group projects and discussion forums, made possible by digital technologies, encourages collaboration, as if all students were sitting at the same desk, no matter where they live.

Flexible learning is a major advantage of online education. Students can customize their study schedules to fit personal obligations. Although this may seem liberating, discipline is needed to get up each day at five in the morning without hitting snooze. Self-regulation is your greatest friend or greatest challenge.

Examine the assessments. This is the last chapter in any educational tale. In-person exams are straightforward. Enter the room. Enter your answers. Then leave. Online? Not at all. When you first learn about open-book tests, they seem simple. When you first hear about open-book exams, they sound simple.

Let’s add some fun to this digital soup: Gremlins (technical glitches) are an unwelcome guest of online classes. They tend to appear when you least expect it. Who hasn’t heard of or seen a presentation or exam screen disappearing at the worst possible time? This is the equivalent of trying to perform a magic trick but not knowing where to hold the wand.

Online learning has overcome these obstacles and continues to improve. The feedback loops generated by the users are helping both educators and students grow together in this brave, new environment.

It’s true that online classes at first can seem like trying to put a rectangular piece of wood in a circular hole. You can do it in other ways with creativity and persistence. Redefining what’s acceptable in education is even better.

Online learning isn’t about mourning our losses, but rather exploring new and exciting ways to learn and connect within the vast digital world. This journey was worth it all.

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