Table of Content
- What is virtual school
- How does virtual school differ from traditional school
- What does virtual School look like for parents
- What does virtual School look like for students
- Do kids grow socially in virtual school
- Virtual classes
- How to know virtual school right for child
- Advantages and disadvantages of online classes
Virtual school in India is a reliable alternative to traditional schooling in the modern educational system. From options like virtual school for special needs to initiatives like the ‘Virtual School Delhi’, online education has once again proved its effectiveness as a top educational choice within the mainstream system.
Reports have confirmed that India did reasonably well in terms of transiting to this new mode of teaching and learning during the virus outbreak. However, since this new paradigm picked up its pace during the pandemic, many students and stakeholders faced some difficulties due to lack of preparedness. Many stakeholders have accepted this new way of schooling as a perfect choice for lifelong quality learning. However, many others are still skeptical about the advantages of online schooling in the Indian context.
If you are hesitant about adopting this option in India, we will help you in understanding everything about this new-age educational option:
Let’s explore essential details about K-12 online school in India!
What Is Virtual School?
Simply put, a virtual school uses technology to carry out the teaching and learning process. Students remain at home and study through the internet. Most of the teaching and instructional delivery is conducted virtually. And students need not travel to a physical school to interact with their teachers.
Full-fledged online learning extends an opportunity to study 24/7/365. This means that students need not stick to any timetables, or struggle to be available for on-campus classes. All the required study material is uploaded on the online learning platform. Students can simply access these resources at their preferred time and location. In addition, this mode also allows them to create their own study patterns and even spare time for all other interests/priorities easily.
This level of flexibility makes online schooling a popular option for all types of Indian students. And once can gauge the acceptance of this choice through the stupendous growth of the Indian online learning market. From the first virtual school in India to many more online schools, the journey of this new schooling mode has been phenomenal.
<The online education market in India was projected to reach around 2 billion US dollars (from 250 million dollars in 2016) by the year 2021. This outstanding growth rate of about 52% speaks volumes about the popularity of this choice.>
Let’s now jump to another puzzling question that might have bothered you, what is the difference between virtual school and real school?
So,how does virtual school differ from traditional school?
There are a number of notable points of differences between a virtual school and a traditional one. By far, we have understood what is the meaning of virtual schooling, which explains the greatest difference i.e. the medium of teaching and learning.
In a traditional school, students study in a typical instructional design. They attend classes at fixed timings, sit with a number of peers in a classroom, and hardly avail any opportunities for personalized learning. On the contrary, a digital schooling platform brings an opportunity to stay at home and study in self-created schedules through an online learning platform.
In an online school, education is accessible and options like self-pacing are made available through the power of technology. Students attend online classes conducted by trained teachers with more individualized learning opportunities. They submit their assignments/worksheets and other tasks within deadlines shared by the teachers/academicians.
Other than this, students also get engaged through multimedia-rich resources and utilize high-quality online content. Monitoring and assessments are also conducted virtually. And the intelligent mechanisms of technology are supported by the human touch of the teachers for accurate feedback.
If you are a parent and still wondering, is virtual schooling as good as in-person classes? and how long should online school take?
Our next section will clarify these questions for you!
What Does Virtual School Look Like for Parents?
The first virtual school in India conceptualized a schooling choice free from the barriers that exist within the Indian education system. Sources reveal that Indian parents faced some common challenges with at-home learning, Other than the family- specific challenges such as cost, network, and language barriers, some other issues like low time in hand and no external support were notably high in weightage (16% and 14% respectively). These issues were quite workable. Because the advantages of online schooling had the potential to eliminate these issues.
In the present times, it is not an exaggeration to say that an online school is highly convenient and advantageous for parents. Because the typical duration of online classes provided by top online schools is somewhere around 4:30 hours to 5:40 minutes with periodic breaks for children. The best part is that parents need not stay with the child throughout this duration. In fact, they can simply help the child log in and carry on with their work while the teachers manage the kids. Virtual schooling is not just as good as a traditional school, in fact, it is even better.
Here’s a look at what are the advantages and disadvantages of online courses for parents:
- No need to follow strict school schedules.
- Feasibility to spend more quality time with the child at home.
- Anytime access to high-quality curriculum.
- More freedom to plan and use the available time as per other priorities.
- Technology allows more stringent monitoring without the need of one’s physical presence.
Now that we have discussed how a K-12 online school is highly convenient for parents, let’s address another burning question that bothers students the most, Is virtual school hard?
What Does Virtual School Look Like for Students?
Most students are not clear about what does a virtual school look like for them or is virtual school effective in the real sense? Let’s understand with the help of some expert opinions.
A leading business magazine highlights the greatest advantage of online learning in terms of enhancing the learning patterns of people. Machine learning and algorithms make use of pattern recognition to modify instructional delivery as per the student’s unique style or learning needs. Owing to the feasibility of individualizing instructions, this educational alternative suits all types of learners perfectly.
In an online learning environment, students enroll (in any virtual school in India) and access their learning resources/study material through the online ‘Learning Management System’ (Learning Platform or Portal). They attend online classes (also called synchronous learning) and clarify their doubts in real time with the teachers virtually.
Their course provider also allows self-study time (called asynchronous learning duration), which can be managed flexibly as per the preference, lifestyle, or learning style of the student. They watch videos, listen to recorded lectures, and enjoy multimedia-rich-online content without stepping out of their homes. They unlock the next lesson upon the successful completion of the previous one. Students complete their assignments and submit these for the teacher’s feedback within the defined deadlines.
By far, we have understood how do online schools work, for students next, we will cover the much-discussed developmental domain, the social development of students in a virtual learning environment.
Do Kids Grow Socially in a Virtual School?
Despite the advantages of this educational alternative, many parents struggle to understand is virtual schooling as good as in-person classes for a child’s socialization. The ones who approach virtual school for kindergarten or virtual school for elementary students often come up with these apprehensions.
Just like a traditional school, a virtual school elementary too allows opportunities to interact. Students mingle with their classmates during online classes. And they can always stay in touch with their friends through informal channels (other than the teacher-led classes). Virtual classes allow them to exchange ideas and do have ample opportunities to collaborate with their friends. This might not seem like regular socialization in traditional schools. But this selective socialization has its own advantages for many types of students and parents.
Parents who have enrolled their children in any virtual school in India acknowledge the advantages of selective socialization. Because the rampant issues of school violence in traditional schools do not convince them about the safety of their child.
Another competitive edge of a K-12 online school is virtual classes. As an end-to-end solution to all student challenges, virtual classes promote quality learning in a threat-free learning environment. It allows vulnerable students to build critical skills without being inhibited by their peers.
Be it a virtual school for special needs or a regular K-12 online school, virtual classes facilitate learning. In addition, these are also better in terms of retaining information when compared with a traditional classroom. Research supports that students tend to retain only 8-10% of information through a traditional class. However, this weightage goes up to 25 to as much as 60% in an online learning environment.
A virtual class can be used for doubt clearing, building conceptual understanding, cross-cultural peer interactions, and better quality learning. Students can simply log in from their respective locations and be a part of the virtual class. Introverted, at-risk (of dropping out), differently-abled, and all other types of students can create a perfect learning space through virtual classes conducted by any virtual school in India.
<Statistics prove that online learning is a booming trend in India. As India stood 2nd in the world in the worldwide enrollments standings (with 13.6 million enrollments) of a leading open course provider in 2021.>
Hope we could cascade all relevant information to explain what is the difference between virtual school and real school?
Let’s discuss the future of this educational option in India & Will virtual school be permanent?
Thanks to this era of digitalization, many of us have already understood what is the meaning of virtual schooling, and how do online schools work? And many others are willing to be a part of this change. With educational institutions like ‘Virtual School Delhi’, the idea of flexible schooling has now reached the masses.
According to a survey on the ‘Factors affecting Indian Parent’s adoption of online learning’, a majority of them were convinced about the quality of online platforms.
When it comes to selecting a virtual school for kindergarten or a virtual school for elementary students, parents often worry about how long should online school take? The golden rule to help young online students adapt to the medium is to set healthy limits and create schedules right from day 1. This way, parents can help students in making the most of digital learning.
How to know if a virtual school is right for your child?
Most of us focus on knowing is virtual school hard. However, we tend to ignore an even more important aspect, is it appropriate for my child?
Virtual schooling is certainly a good start for all types of students in India. But at the same time, it is also demanding and requires a set of skill sets to succeed in a virtual learning environment.
Below is the list of students who can fit perfectly in a K-12 online school:
- Self-starters and motivated
- Differently abled
- Students who travel
- Possess independent learning habits
- Can beat challenges like procrastination
- With different interests
- The ones with mediocre or advanced digital skills
Before we wrap up, let’s take you through a quick recap to help you find out is virtual school effective for your child:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of online classes?
Advantages of virtual schooling:
- No Travel
- More affordable
- Reduced peer pressure/academic stress
- Individual pacing options
- Threat-free environment
- Supportive teachers with individualized attention
- Better opportunity to build tech skills
- More course/subject choices
- Better and healthy socialization
- More freedom to plan studies
- Improves time management
- Builds transferable skills (for employability)
- More fun and engaging
- Offers a safe learning space (especially for virtual school elementary)
- Improves conceptual understanding
- More time for family
- Allows more scope to follow passions/interests
Disadvantages of virtual schooling:
- Dependence on factors like internet connectivity
- Technical glitches can lead to wastage of productive time
- Lack of reputed and legitimate online schools in India
- Some students might find it difficult to focus due to distractions
How Virtual Schools addressing these challenges?
The global growth of the online education market proves the relevance of this new option and it’s potential despite the disadvantages. The good news is that most of the disadvantages of this medium are already resolved by our policymakers and course providers. With some great digital initiatives, India has already combatted several challenges related to internet connectivity. Leading telecom companies have already introduced cost-effective data tariffs. In addition, most of these companies have moved to fourth-generation networks (4G) with sufficient wireless connectivity.
Post the pandemic, the learning curve to handle technical glitches is also over for many stakeholders. And there is a considerable improvement in the online teaching training quality in the past couple of years. In a nutshell, the workable areas of virtual schooling are already identified and resolved to an extent. And these challenges will continue to decrease with more and more reliable schooling platforms like high-quality recognized online schools. With the best quality online schooling platforms, students and teachers will be able to eliminate distractions. Because highly engaging virtual resources are a perfect solution to reduce distractions.
All educational choices have their own set of pros and cons. However, it is clear that reputed and high-quality online schools extend unmatched learning opportunities for students.
In this era of digital learning, one can vouch for this future-ready option as a resilient solution to the threats of regular schools and the pandemic. In a nutshell, we can conclude that online schools are the future of the education industry, not just in India but even around the world!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the meaning of virtual schooling?
Virtual schooling allows students to study at home through the blessing of technology. They can access study material/course content virtually, reach out to teachers, and attend classes that are delivered online. All interactions and processes are conducted virtually. There is no need to travel to a physical premise to attend classes. And the entire teaching and learning (including assessments, feedback, and peer interactions) are carried out virtually.
Are schools going virtual again despite the school reopening?
Virtual schooling is more than just an educational solution for the pandemic. Full-fledged online schools are already operational in India. And they will continue to be an educational alternative to regular schools. For online classes through traditional schools, the situation totally depends on the conditions such as pandemic cases and their own choice of offering virtual learning.
How long should online school take?
Top accredited online schools share their class schedules with the parents who enroll their children. Broadly, these can vary between 4 to 6 hours as per the school, grade, etc. The self-study duration completely depends on the parents.
Will virtual school be permanent in India?
Yes! this new schooling choice is now a part of the mainstream Indian education system. We already have a network of these schools including ‘Virtual School Delhi’. And they will continue to serve students and stakeholders in the future as well.
Are schools going virtual again?
For parents who have enrolled their children in virtual schools, schools reopening or closing does not make a lot of difference. However, for traditional schools, the threats continue with the ongoing pandemic. The choice to go virtual is subjective for parents and traditional schools in India. You can contact the particular school to know more about its policies/options to go virtual as there is no single or set guideline followed across the education industry as of now.
What are the advantages of virtual school elementary?
Students can get access to the best online content by enrolling in a virtual school elementary. They can also stay safe from challenges like bullying, child abuse, school violence, etc. Parents can be assured about their learning and acquisition of foundational skillsets without any need to travel to a physical school.
Is virtual school still an option?
In India, you can find some top online schools that are operational throughout the year. You can get in touch with these schools to know if the enrollments are open. These platforms have their official websites with options to connect with their academic teams for a virtual tour or demo classroom experience.