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Virtual education: The new educational model of the moment
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has generated great changes in different sectors, one of the most significant is virtual education and its overcrowding.
Although a large part of the educational community was not prepared for this sudden transition, it has no choice but to face the new changes and start applying this methodology.
Virtual education has become one of the new teaching methods most used today, which uses technology to educate remotely, eliminating the barriers of distance and time, which were great limitations of traditional education.
However, due to the precarious conditions of many educational centers and the lack of technological resources, online education still faces great challenges. In this article we want to teach you everything about online education and its most relevant aspects.
What is virtual education?
Online education is the development of the teaching-learning process through technological tools that allows the teacher to interact without being physically in a classroom. It should be noted that distance education is not the same as virtual education, why?
It can be said that virtual education is the evolution of distance education.
For many years a methodology has been implemented where students receive books, notes, videotapes and other study material at home, where they carried out evaluations, manuscripts and exercises that were sent through correspondence.
But all that has been left behind, thanks to new technologies and especially ICT, now education has multiple tools for communication and study through chat rooms, email, test, registered in the cloud, and much more.
Characteristics of virtual education
Online education is characterized by using technological tools to improve the teaching-learning process, but that's not all, this teaching method also stands out for:
There is physical distancing.
Electronic means are used.
The teaching-learning process must be planned in detail.
Encourages self-regulation and self- learning.
The commotion and interaction can be in real time or temporary.
Feedback and evaluation can be implemented.
Types of virtual education that we can find
Virtual education is one of the most revolutionary areas of education, which has been the object of study for many years and with each passing day, it continues to grow more and more. This thanks to new technological advances that seek to improve the educational system and obtain better results.
At present, we can find different types of virtual education, among them, we find:
Also known as electronic learning, it is a completely virtualized type of teaching through new electronic channels, especially the internet. This type of education uses hypertext tools and applications, that is, web pages, email, forums, instant messaging and educational platforms.
This type of virtual education is the most widely used worldwide, since it is much more practical and good results are obtained.
Known as blended learning, this is facilitated through the efficient combination of different teaching methods, teaching models and learning styles, based on a transparent communication of all the areas involved in the course.
This educational model is perfect for adults who do not have enough time to take care of an educational center on a daily basis, giving them the opportunity to study from home and attend class on the weekend.
This is the most recent educational method of all, it is based on mobile learning and is defined as learning in multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, the use of personal electronic devices. In other words, it consists of the use of mobile devices so that students can learn wherever they are, at any time.
Advantages and disadvantages of virtual education
If you are considering starting your studies through virtual education, the first thing you should do is analyze each of its advantages and disadvantages. In this way, you can determine if it suits the type of training you are looking for.
Advantages of online education
Immediate access to information sources.
It transcends geographical barriers.
It opens doors to different educational offers.
24-hour access to materials and resources.
Save of time and money.
Use of multiple resources and learning tools.
Collaborative work through chat rooms, meetings through platforms such as Google Meet.
Disadvantages of online education
Delays caused by failures in technological tools.
They require a greater discipline than in face-to- face classes.
Passivity when learning.
Homologation of degrees obtained abroad.
It has no routine.
Challenges that virtual education goes through
One of the main challenges of online education in the world is that there is still the conviction that it is a mediocre or not very complete way of teaching. Of course, this is completely wrong information, since today educational programs are increasingly offered through this medium thanks to its effectiveness.
However, this is not the only challenge that online education is facing, the following aspects also affect its development:
Quality: It is a fact that online education has the same quality as face-to-face education, but it can be a real challenge for those who choose to study under this modality. It requires greater concentration, discipline, willingness to learn, etc.
Scope: The success of virtual education depends on the quality and availability of internet connection tools, as well as the financial resources necessary to cover expenses. This is the largest gap in some undeveloped countries.
Adaptive capacity: The arrival of the pandemic revealed the inability of the education sector to adapt quickly enough to changes in the environment. This is due to factors such as the lack of training of human resources, lack of technologies in homes and study centers, rigidity of virtual classrooms, server capacity, etc.
Undoubtedly, online education is going to be part of the future and with each passing day it will evolve along with technology, which will make it possible to overcome these barriers that have affected its development. In addition, some surveys have revealed that more and more students choose to study under this modality.