Virtual Learning: Incorporation of Technology at School

Outline: Due to COVID-19, there have been great advancements in technology that schools have been able to benefit from. Schools have incorporated these advancements to better the learning and teaching experience. These advancements have altered the way in which teaching has been conducted for many years and is a form of teaching that may stay for many years to come. Students and teachers both need to take the steps to equip themselves to take on virtual learning.

Keywords: COVID-19; Education Sector; Online Learning; Virtual Education; Summer School; School Closures; Private School; Technology

Author:Thanavy Jeyabalasundaram

COVID-19 has significantly altered society and the way in which life is conducted. One great change that has come as a result of COVID-19, is the education sector. Teaching and learning have changed greatly and have had to adapt to the constantly changing world. Schools have introduced blended learning, virtual learning, have changed methods of marking and testing, and have changed the relationships between students and teachers. The COVID-19 era has been an experiential period for technology and has given students and schools the opportunities to figure out what works in the long run.

Virtual learning is when education is transmitted on a web-based platform or in an online setting. Virtual learning has changed the way in which education is given to students. It gives students the ability to work at their own timetable, be able to stay on top of school even when they are not able to physically be in school, and allows a wide array of students to have access to education. At Rutherford Private School, students in Canada are able to work with students all over the world, which gives students a chance to experience and learn about different cultures and groups. Virtual learning expands the horizons of what students can experience and learn. Virtual learning is more accessible and available. Virtual learning also gives students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with technology and prepare them for the technological society in which they are in. Students can connect with their teachers with ease through online platforms.

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Rutherford Private School has taken great strides to ensure students are receiving the best quality of education even during these difficult times. Examples of these advancements are the implementation of various new technologies in the learning environment to provide students and teachers with the right tools to succeed. Classrooms are equipped with various forms of technology, such as tablets, Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras and microphones, and more. Teachers are trained and prepared to take on the advancements to ensure teaching takes place with limited technological difficulties. It is vital that teachers are aware and prepared to know how to adapt to this form of teaching and learning to ensure students do not fall behind nor retain the needed information.

We have dealt with COVID-19 and the changes it has brought for a bit over a year now, which gives people optimal time to better their ways of life and learning in order to suit this current technological era. Virtual learning is the future and is a great way of teaching and learning. It allows for students to have constant access to educational material, to connect with their teachers with ease, and work at a comfortable pace. This is done through the usage of websites and software where information can be accessed such as Google Classroom, Google Drive, Vimeo, and more. Virtual learning gives students the opportunity to succeed at their pace. We, like schools, must make sure to implement the advancements in technology into our schools in order for children to receive the best learning experience. Rutherford Private School has many international students and technological advancements in the school systems have allowed for these students to be able to succeed.

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Schools have been able to incorporate self-paced learning extensively into their methods and curriculum. This is a stride that can be perceived as both good and bad. It gives students the ability to work at their own pace while having access to not only the teacher’s aid but also the course material. It also allows them to learn valuable skills such as organization and time management. Self-paced learning can also give room for students to fall behind however with the correct guidance and self-motivation students can truly strive in this environment.

Virtual education has given the opportunity for teachers to be more significantly involved in their students and their education. Teachers are able to monitor when students are online and whether they are dedicating the needed amount of time for their courses. Teachers are able to connect with their students easily as they can set up video or phone conferences as opposed to waiting for an in-person meeting. Teachers can utilize various software and websites to provide their students with the course work and extra aid. Teachers are able to provide students with their grades and feedback online which students will always have access to.

Students need to equip themselves with the correct tools for success to ensure the best learning experience at Rutherford Private School. Adjusting to online learning is a process however it is a circumstance that may be permanent, therefore students should be well prepared for the changing learning environment.  

Technology is ever-changing and students need to be able to adapt to these changes and incorporate them into their learning experience. Our teachers each have two screens to ensure they are able to access the school material while monitoring the students. Understanding body language and visually seeing the students helps teachers understand the steps they need to take in their lessons, whether it be reviewing material that some may not have understood or moving forward as students as prepared. Teachers have access to good-quality cameras, microphones, and laptops at Rutherford Private School. This allows students to clearly understand and view their teachers in class. These incorporations in the classroom are meant to help students prevail in the technological era.

At our school, students must have a specific level of preparedness for their classes and it begins with the technology and tools they involve. Students must have access to a laptop, as just a tablet or a phone does not allow students to follow along in classes while having access to their notes. Students should have access to a second screen so that they can watch the class lecture on one and complete their assignments and review their notes on another. Students should have access to a tablet pad and pen, such as a Veikk tablet. Students should have access to a document camera which will help them transmit their work easily. Students should have adequate headphones with microphones to limit distractions and sound interference. Check out our List for Success for more information and the benefits of these tools in a student’s education.

1-Virtual Learning Incorporation of Technology at School
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Overall, COVID-19 has changed the education system and learning environment. In many ways, it has greatly advanced it and has allowed for the incorporation of various technologies to better the learning process for students and the teaching experience for teachers. This technological experiment has yielded great, positive results and will possibly be the way of teaching for the foreseeable future. These changes prepare students for the future which will incorporate technology greatly in their everyday lives. It gives students the opportunity to also interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds from the comfort of their classrooms and homes. Students and teachers must take the needed steps to better equip and prepare themselves for virtual learning. Here at Rutherford Private School, we have set expectations for both teachers and students to ensure the best and most effective learning experience.

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