Using the latest educational research, school districts continuously look for innovative ways to teach. From increasing student engagement to improving standardized test scores and working diligently to close the gap, both teachers and administrators are focused on providing a well-rounded education for all of their students.
That’s why it’s so important that brick-and-mortar schools don’t overlook the many benefits of offering virtual classes inside of their traditional classrooms.
With the big push for differentiation, virtual classes make it easy for teachers to personalize learning based on each students’ prior knowledge, interests, and areas for growth. Using a blended learning model, teachers can use digital tools to supplement the instruction students receive in class which can then be tailored to meet their unique needs.
For example, advanced students who grasp new material quickly can be assigned online activities that challenge them to build on this new information, freeing the teacher up to meet with those who need further clarification and also with those who need the information retaught in an entirely new way.
As students become proficient with a new topic, they can move forward at their own pace, never holding their classmates back or waiting for others to catch up.
By incorporating videos, slide shows, games, and research assignments, teachers can help students stay engaged and focused on the materials without directly instructing them at all times. And this can be done on the timetable that works best for each student.
Moreover, virtual classrooms help teachers set up small groups of students for collaborative learning quickly and effortlessly and these groups can be based on their current levels of understanding in real-time. So there’s no need to create groups way ahead of the class, merely guessing which students will work well together. And even the most introverted students are more likely to collaborate in a virtual learning environment than they are face to face.
Another huge benefit of offering virtual classes in brick and mortar schools can be seen when it comes time for assessments. In a traditional classroom, both informal and formal assessments take place for all students at the same time and are often graded after class ends.
With a blended learning model, the teacher is able to utilize digital assessments that can be graded automatically, saving the teacher significant amounts of time, and providing him or her with important data before the class ends.
This is important because the teacher can then use data from informal assessments, like polls and surveys, to reteach any information the students are struggling with while they’re still in class. And teachers can use data from formal assessments, such as quizzes and tests, to quickly determine if it’s time to move on to a new unit the next day or if the reteaching of skills needs to take place.
In summary, there are many benefits to offering virtual classes in brick and mortar schools. And districts that provide a virtual learning environment during regular class hours will enjoy these benefits and many more.
To learn more about how virtual classrooms can support a personalized learning model visit www.jigsawinteractive.com.