Virtual teaching or virtual school is where the student learns mainly online or through the internet. An online school can bring together many of the benefits provided by a physical school (didactic materials, on-line exercises, live online classes, exams, forums, specialized tutor, etc.) but all done through the internet. In addition, interaction between students and teachers is possible, although it is not necessary. Virtual teaching allows students to participate in a digital environment and carry out their training in any subject.
It was in the mid-nineties when schools began to appear where it was possible to access a virtual education. Many of the current virtual schools come from distance schools. The first virtual schools were developed in Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom, generally in areas where low population density made schooling by traditional means difficult. The development of computer science consolidates the use of computers for educational purposes, giving rise to the creation of different virtual schools around the world.
It is sometimes called " distance education ", which is a different term and teaching. To develop a virtual teaching it is necessary that the teaching institution has an LMS (Learning management system) being currently the most used moodle because of its ease of use and installation, although with the rise of new technologies are growing online learning systems as Blackboard.
At present, virtual teaching and its schools are present everywhere in the world.
Advantages and disadvantages
Some of the possible advantages of virtual teaching can be:
- Travel is avoided, which saves money and time. In addition to reducing costs of materials, books and other support resources in classroom environments
- The student can access, without physical or geographic limitation through the Internet, an infinity of resources, which can help him to expand his knowledge and obtain more meaningful learning.
- The student can develop activities according to their own rhythm and style, this facilitates their learning, also has a much more active role and is directly responsible for their training process.
- The virtual education develops the capacity of critical thinking, skills of investigation and analysis of information, use of technological tools, in addition to the skills to solve practical problems. Qualities highly valued in the labor market.
- Collaborative work: High dose of participation and interaction through forums, chat and other tools.
- In many cases, there are professionals and experts who, due to their professional circumstances, could not attend face-to-face teaching.
- The student can complete his training anywhere in the world, this opens him to different cultures and countries where he can enrich himself with his history, geography, religions and politics, besides developing social skills.
- The students do not depend on schedules or spaces, which facilitates the reconciliation of studies with work and personal life.
Some of the possible disadvantages of virtual teaching can be:
- Lack of interaction: Many students value negatively the absence of personal contact with teachers or other students.
- Students who have a virtual education must have knowledge in the use of technology, computer tools and know how to search for information on the Internet.
- In many cases, online training requires the student to perform better than face-to-face training. The non-attendance to classes forces to control the progress of the students with the periodic delivery of works and, therefore, a regular dedication to the studies is required.
- It requires self-discipline, without a programmed study routine, you can control your schedules for other activities.
Virtual Teaching Model
The student is the one who marks his own rhythm of work acquiring the knowledge exposed in the contents, doing exercises, consulting and solving doubts with the rest of the participants of the course, performing the tasks and activities that are requested and the advisor (teacher) is the one is guiding you during your learning process.