Virtual classroom

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Virtual education refers to instruction in a learning environment where teacher and student are separated by time or space, or both, and the teacher provides course content through the use of methods such as course management applications, multimedia resources, the Internet, and videoconferencing. Students receive the content and communicate with the teacher via the same technologies. Virtual education is a term describing online education using the Internet. This term is used in K-12 schooling, often to refer to cyber schools, and in higher education, where so-called Virtual Universities have been established. A virtual program (or a virtual course of studies) is a study program in which all courses, or at least a significant portion of the courses, are virtual courses, whether in synchronous (i.e. real time) or asynchronous (i.e. self-paced) formats. Virtual courses – a synonym is online courses – are courses delivered on the Internet. "Virtual" is used here to characterize the fact that the course is not taught in a classroom face-to-face but through some substitute mode that can be associated with classroom teaching. That means people do not have to go to the real class to learn. Both the asynchronous and synchronous methods rely heavily on self-motivation, self-discipline, and ability for effective written communication. Although there is a long and varied history of distance education, the current intersection of technology as a means to facilitate real-time communication with community-centered interaction, and the increasing acceptance and employment of those developments in the broader culture, have positioned virtual schools in a position of significant innovation and responsibility. In an educational environment in which school choice for families and students is valued, "cyber charter schools, as an outgrowth of the charter movement and the virtual school movement, represent a unique group of schools characterized by both their administrative model and their course delivery technology."