Online schools, also known as e-schools or virtual schools, are a type of educational system that encompasses any kind of learning through the internet and technology that acts as a complete substitute for both distance learning and face-to-face classes. In online schools, students can log in to a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS is a virtual portal where students and parents can view the syllabus and grades, contact teachers and classmates, access study materials, and monitor progress.
The idea of online classes: The history of online schools can be dated back 200 years. Online schools emerged from distance education or correspondence classes. A licensed instructor, Isaac Pitman, in Great Britain, used to teach a shorthand correspondence course by exchanging written assignments back and forth using the mail. The expansion of online education started with the introduction of MAC. Online learning was born later and became an integral part of education.
How do online school’s work: Online learning does not have physical classrooms. Instead, they have virtual classrooms. With the help of online resources, students log in to the classes. In online schooling, the interaction between the teacher and the student is via video conferencing software. Teachers use videos, animations, PDF documents, slideshows, and word documents to teach.
How is it like regular schools: Online schools enroll children the way an offline school does? The school also provides qualified teachers, as they do in offline schools. Online schools are more like offline schools than home schools. The child must attend the class with other students, and the teacher is responsible for learning. Like offline classes, there will be exams, assignments, and projects. Students can have discussions and interact with their friends like a regular class.
How are teachers assigned: There is generally a single teacher for most of the subjects in the primary sections? In high schools, there will be specialist teachers for each subject.
The cost of online schools: The fees are different in different states and schools. Online school fees are comparatively less.
Books: In online schools, most of the study materials are available online. Sometimes, students will have to buy textbooks or other study materials.
Learning hours: The time spent in class mainly depends on the schools. The time for lower and higher classes may vary. The high school students will have extra time compared to the lower classes.
Parental Involvement: Parents can only review homework and attend parent-teacher meetings in offline schools. Parents can meet the online teachers whenever required. They can also monitor the child’s attendance, progress, and comprehension.
There are many advantages and limitations for online schools. Some of them are:
• Online schools are most helpful for students who focus on extracurricular activities, are working professionals, or for students who are staying in remote places or for those who do not have access to physical classrooms.
• The students have access to all study materials online.
• Students can take exams and submit assignments and projects online.
• Online schools allow classrooms to be a bit closer to becoming paperless.
• Students can study from any location of their choice.
• They can record the classes and use the same to clear doubts anytime.
• Students can attend classes from anywhere and everywhere and do not have to worry about losing attendance.
• Online schools can help students save time and money on transportation, uniforms, study materials.
• Students can clear their doubts whenever they need. They can clear their doubts in a private chat.
• It is easy to track the progress of the children.
• A teacher can use videos, images, and PDF documents to teach the students. Teachers can also share the same online.
• Both students and teachers can get a lot of information which will be helpful in teaching and learning.
• There are many online tutorials and apps available free for students.
• Students can get guidance from their parents.
• Economically, backward students cannot afford internet connections and gadgets.
• Students may lack interpersonal and socializing skills.
• Attending classes from home can be distracting.
• Organizing online schools will be difficult.
• Students must be organized and motivated.
• There are chances that students can cheat during the exams and classes.
• Practical classes are not possible in online schools.
• Students must be self-disciplined.
• More screen time can affect eyesight, cause headaches, and leaning towards the system may also cause bad posture and other health issues.
• Teachers must be trained about the technical aspects first to teach the students.
• Online schools may create a sense of isolation among the students.
• Students will become lazy learners as they have access to study materials at any time they need.
• They will start procrastinating in their studies.
• Students might lack communication skills.
People nowadays prefer using the internet to find answers to their questions rather than going to the library or asking someone. Education has undergone a paradigm shift, from writing on chalkboards to learning on computers. Though online schools existed before, COVID-19 revolutionized school education. Most schools have started offering online classes. Gone are the days when school was limited to four walls. Students can now learn anything and everything online. Learning has become more comfortable and easier with online classes. Online schools allow education to reach a wider audience than it has in the past. The future of online schools looks promising.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.