Virtual Teaching Becoming a Reality
As our dependence on technology rises, the need for virtual teaching has crept into the science and educational domain. It is easier and more cost effective to use video to access a large number of people without them all having to be in one room.
The first and the most obvious reason for popularizing cyberspace education is the desire to avoid long and unnecessary commutes to the place where your courses take place. Online classes can be of great help to those who have no other options available. For an example, the amount of brick and mortar institutions that provide higher education in Africa is becoming too small to meet the needs of the rising number of students wanting to get a university degree.
Therefore, the only choice available to many of them is a distance education, and it is slowly becoming the norm in sub-Saharan African countries like Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
Not only African citizens experience the benefits of technology in schooling. The second reason for spreading new video technologies within the educational sphere is to simplify incomprehensible subjects during a lesson.
All around the world, computers help in so-called 'hybrid learning' or 'blended learning' models, where students get the information partially through digital and online media content. That information is mainly delivered through the form of video teaching.
What About the Educators?
Teachers today use more digital content to present the subject matter in their classes than they did ten years ago. This is because our modern brains adapt easier to a video than to a monotonous 30-minute lecture.
Since you can find almost any book or publication on the Internet, educators are using that content to enhance their own lectures. They will also often utilize someone else's content if it suits their topic for the day and is not copyrighted.
If the lesson is in the form of video, there's always someone behind the making of that video. While a small percentage of teachers and school administrators can make videos by themselves, many others will most likely seek the help of a professional. To make things easier, numerous websites offer online video production and video editing services to help educators create videos according to their own preferences and instructional needs.
Digital content can improve the quality of a given lecture when used effectively. Because of the preponderance of video in many modern classroom environments, if teachers don't use video at all, students may find it tedious, and the thought of going to a class with no computerized teaching aids may decrease their will to even attend class. But there is a serious lack of training available; teachers struggle with not having the information they need to use technology in their curriculum.
However, if videos are overused, it may be sending an implicit message that everything you need to know is on the web, and that you don't have to learn from teachers or even study in order to get the knowledge you need. In other words, there is the concern that students will become solely dependant on technology for their education.
The solution is to use it moderately. Every teacher would do well to integrate at least 30% of classroom time into high-tech tools because it can help the students to be more engaged while preparing them for future careers, which will inevitably include the application of new technologies.
As we spread the concept of e-learning to the masses, virtual classrooms may inevitably contribute to the loss of teachers in general. It may seem that in an online-dependant era, video courses can substitute teachers. But it is only true at a certain level.
Despite the fact that the video looks like a fast and easy solution, it is not capable of giving you answers after the lesson ends, nor can it provide the one-on-one communicaton so valuable in the teacher/student relationship. That kind of work is still reserved for the good old teachers made of flesh and blood.
Video and computer-assisted learning are remarkable instruments that have flooded modern teaching methods. The advantages of using them are endless, and there is no question that digital improvements have not only made our lives easier, but also made education to the masses more attainable.
Still, there's always two sides of any coin. We should not overlook the potential negative consequences of overvaluing digital content and we must use discretion when taking advantage of the educational technologies available to us.
Video may have killed more than the radio star, but it is up to us to decide how many realms of our lives are we willing to sacrifice.
Lea Kuscer is a content writer for Valoso who enjoys gathering and sharing information about the newest trends in technology. Apart from doing word craft, she is relaxing her mind by traveling, painting and creating natural cosmetics and eco-friendly jewelry.