For many of us, we are dealing with an array of unknowns due to COVID-19. Our health, our work, and with summer ending; school. With many schools opting to pursue a hybrid learning platform, balancing physical and virtual learning, parents are now faced again with the additional concern of their child getting the best education. They also are wondering if it’s safe to go back to school at any capacity. Some counties are allowing parents to sign their children up for purely distant learning. If done correctly, virtual learning can be a truly beneficial means of education and not be the burden parents have felt it has been.
Benefits of Virtual Learning:
- Added Flexibility and Self-Paced Learning
- Better Time Management
- Demonstrated Self-Motivation
- Improved Virtual Communication and Collaboration
- A Broader, Global Perspective
- Refined Critical-thinking Skills
- New Technical Skills
Added Flexibility and Self-Paced Learning
Every child does not learn at the same pace and it can be challenging trying to keep up. It doesn’t help with growing classroom sizes and an evergrowing task list for teachers. Many don’t have the time or ability to engage in the one on one care needed to succeed. That is where virtual learning shines. Teaching online lets teachers have space to record their lessons, upload pertinent information, and allow for safe learning. Both teachers and students can enjoy the flexibility of unthrottled communication and the use of technical applications. They may not typically be able to use it. Students can feel confident in asking a question about a topic or concept through direct communication. Alternatively, they can look through a previous lesson and answer their own question through access to digital material.
Better Time Management
A critical skill to master, time management becomes a very important tool students must utilize during their virtual learning experience. Not all schools will follow a similar schedule digitally compared to on-site. In these times, students develop the ability to put in the necessary time for projects, using teacher office hours, etc. Within the flexibility of learning at their own pace, students will be able to designate times they feel most effective.
Melanie Kasparian, associate director of assessment at NE College of Professional Studies, shared tips on how to be a successful virtual learner. She recommends students work consistently throughout the week. A sample schedule, she says, may look similar to this:
- Monday: Begin required readings and multimedia.
- Tuesday: Continue reviewing materials.
- Wednesday: Post to the discussion forum and begin assignments.
- Thursday: Continue posting and working on assignments.
- Friday: Read and respond to posts and work on assignments.
- Saturday: Read and respond to posts and finish assignments.
- Sunday: Check your work and submit assignments.
Kasparian says, “Working on the train, during a lunch break, or in the morning—there’s really no right time to study, as long as it fits your life.”
Just as any parent has faced, your child will be challenged by their biggest enemy; themselves. Setting time aside/organizing what needs to be done is one thing, but having the motivation to complete said tasks is a challenge. It won’t be easy but skills like this are what can be immediately translated in everyday life and work. Having the background of virtual learning can be a perfect way to demonstrate to colleges and jobs that your child can take charge of the work at hand and come out victorious.
Improved Virtual Communication and Collaboration
To become a more effective leader, students can learn to work with others in a virtual environment. Your child will develop critical leadership skills by utilizing specialized knowledge, creating efficient processes, and making decisions about best communication practices. Scheduling with fellow classmates becomes an easier, seamless process and allows for more effective collaboration by sharing information digitally.
A Broader, Global Perspective
In some cases, students that have access to a virtual learning platform can come across other students from across the U.S and all over the world. With this ability, class discussions have a broader, more diverse array of perspectives thus helping your child enhance in their own cross-cultural learning. They will not only be able to network on a global scale but broaden their own perspectives and become more culturally aware. Being exposed to new ideas from students in other countries may spark your child’s creativity which is a truly invaluable trait.
Refined Critical-thinking Skills
Virtual learning facilitates the ability to think critically about what your child does every day. The goal in the classroom is to challenge students to think differently, and future employers want them to do that, too–to think critically in their role at work. Mastering this skill is what will set your child apart as a student, and as an employee.
Critical thinking plays a role in any type of education; however, virtual learning forces students to develop critical thinking skills in ways that they might not have practiced in an in-person classroom setting. This sort of self-paced and self-motivated learning demonstrates to future employers that they have the ability to think critically and overcome any obstacles that might stand in their way.
New Technical Skills
If it hasn’t been more apparent to you in your own job, being technologically savvy is a standard amongst many careers. Having your child well versed in different virtual applications can not only prepare them for new ways to complete projects or simply communicate but can help set them apart from others that have not adopted new technology. Virtual learning can open the door to your child discovering new mediums to express thoughts and ideas.
Embracing technology is crucial. When students have to work on a group project, sharing files or status updates can become difficult via email, so they might need to utilize project management and communication tools such as:
- Skype: The video conferencing software lets them speak face-to-face with their peers.
- Dropbox: Share documents with a group and keep work in one place using the file hosting service.
- Slack: The messaging platform is helpful if your child needs to instant message in real-time or break off into smaller groups to work on a specific part of the project.
- Trello: The project management tool enables students and their teams to create, assign, track, and prioritize to-dos.
- Basecamp: Another, slightly more robust, project management tool students can use to share messages and upload files.
While these tools may not be utilized by all, at some point in your child’s learning career, they could become the very thing to make or break a final project. With all of this in mind, the main concern for any parent is placing your child into a space where they can learn, grow and succeed.
Virtual learning has a lot of positives but this doesn’t mean your student will harness them on their own. You and their teachers may have enough on their plates and that is why our tutors can help!
Tutors For Virtual Learning
Our tutors have undergone extensive training for virtual learning and understand what your child needs while transitioning to this new platform. Many are state-certified teachers in accordance with individual agency requirements. We also ensure that each tutor has a background check on file. In addition to tutoring services performed, our tutors are required to submit monthly progress reports to parents/guardians to show the students’ progress.
- Individual or Group
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- Extensive background check
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