What is a Virtual Classroom?
A Complete Guide for Kindergartners
Virtual Classroom is another product of digitalization in India. It is an online platform used by online schools (also known as digital schools) to create a digital classroom environment where students and educators can perform all the classroom activities. Online schools either develop customized software or create a classroom on outsourced software to educate the learners of the school using its prime characteristic – group video conferencing. Students from such learning environments can study from their favourable locations. In easier words, the students can attend their classes from their residences, workplaces, or any other favourable locations.
After enrolment in an online school or an online course, a student requires an electronic digital device (such as a tablet, smartphone, or laptop) with an active internet connection to attend a class in the virtual classroom. These types of classrooms came into existence with the ongoing movement in India known as digitalization. The graph of its usage showed a rise after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when offline schools were ordered by the government to operate online.
Characteristics of a Virtual Classroom
Being a product of the online world, it comprises certain very interesting and innovative characteristics that have turned out to be meritorious for a lot of students in India. Students can learn using video conferencing as the primary mode of learning that helps in one-to-one student and teacher interaction. Various other characteristics are stated below in this segment of the article.
- Video Conferencing: As stated in the introductory segment of the article, this is the primary feature that enables educators and learners to attend one-to-one and one-to-multiple student-teacher interactions. Individuals can experience great video quality with a good device and internet connectivity.
- Digital Presentation Boards: Also known as digital whiteboards, these presentation boards are very beneficial to educators. It acts as same as a normal whiteboard where individuals can write, draw, highlight, and mark the content. These features are accessible with help of a screen-stylus or a cursor.
- Chat box: A group chat box that is provided by most of the digital classes in the software itself. It is a feature that interests almost all the students in a class as they can have conversations throughout the class. The chat box can be controlled and monitored by the educator or the administrator of the software.
- Control Panel: A control panel of the conference can generally be seen either on the top or the bottom of the screen. This panel is accessible to every participant and offers several controls like voice mute, camera off, background blur, present on the digital whiteboard, and request for the participation controls.
- Recording: Every class that is attended in a virtual classroom can be recorded by any of the participants that are present in the class. A record button can be seen in the control panel that records the complete class (including the audio and the video) and saves it automatically in the desired folder after the class ends.
Types of Virtual Classrooms
There are five major types of virtual classrooms that are categorized on the basis of their features and characteristics. They are also categorized on the proportion of their online and offline existence, frequency of their online classes, and flexibility.
- Fully Online: These types of classrooms are completely online and supported with all kinds of educational material. In easier words, all the academic material that is required by the student is already saved in the learner’s dashboard as it does not offer video conferencing.
- Enriched Virtual Classrooms: All the classes in an enriched virtual classroom are not on the video conference. Most of the classes are conducted online using the learning management system whereas only occasional meetings take place.
- Rotation: As the name suggests, the mode of an online class is rotated on a regular basis based on the classroom schedule. In easier words, half of the classes are on the video conference whereas the other half of classes are assignment-based.
- Flexible: Flexible classrooms provide the utmost flexibility to the students as all the content, classes, academic material is available 24×7. This means a student can attend any class at any point in time.
- Mix & Match: It is developed to dig maximum positive results out of the students. Therefore, as the name suggests, the mix and match classroom consists of both online and offline sources of learning.
5 Tips for Online Schooling Kindergartners’ Parents
Internet learning can be very difficult for first-time users like kindergarten students and therefore may require the help of their guardians or parents throughout the class to perform basic operations like typing, muting the call, volume controls, and other essential functions. This segment of the article presents 5 tips for online schooling kindergartners and their parents to witness a smooth virtual classroom learning experience.
- Communication: Kindergarten students should communicate with other students, classmates, and teachers during the interactive sessions that are specially organized for students to boost their confidence and improve linguistic skills.
- Student Involvement: Understandably, parents need to support their children during online education. But, the major involvement should always be seen from a student’s side rather than the parent’s. This makes the learners realize that they have to participate.
- Keep Things Organized: During the activity sessions, project classes, and practical lab classes, parents should keep all the required material handy and near the study desk. Leaving during the online class causes interruption and creates a negative impact.
- Participate in Chat boxes:Chat boxes in the virtual classroom software are specially designed for the students so that they can communicate. Parents should let their children contribute to the healthy communication taking place in such chat boxes.
- Encourage Classmates: Guardians should always teach their students to encourage the classmates during their participation in any classroom activity. It creates a positive study environment and improves student-to-student relations.