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Virtual Classrooms: Advice on How to Use Them

written by: SeemaAdnani•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 12/14/2009

A virtual classroom can provide students with a solution to geographical relocation problems. For this student, learning how to use a virtual classroom will be important to success. Let's take a closer look at the the virtual classroom environment.

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    The concept of distance learning has brought reputed colleges and universities of international stature right to the computer desktop of almost every home. For those working in regular jobs or considering relocation to be difficult, the idea of learning from home is most intriguing.

    More and more professional degrees and courses are finding their place in virtual classrooms. As a result, the traditional classroom concept is often being substituted by more the flexible concept of learning through the Internet, but the terminology of a virtual classroom can be cumbersome to learn.

    After scheduling a time for learning in a virtual environment one must learn what it's all about. Different students and teachers login to the same session and thus, a virtual classroom is created.

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    Minimum Infrastructure Needs

    In order to begin learning in a virtual classroom, one must have a dependable, high-speed Internet connection. Online tutorials, assignments, projects and evaluations are delivered through from the University to the students in the class. When compared with traditional classroom learning, you can expect a lot more convenience and less education expenses from learning this way.

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    Using Cutting Edge Technlogy Tools

    Here are just some of the technology tools one must be familiar with in order to begin learning in a virtual environment:

    Learning Management System: With availability of Learning Management System (LMS) software, a virtual learning environment is created to effectively deliver content to the students. These web-based programs use tools like skills-gap analysis, certifications and resource provision to facilitate learning at anytime, any place and any pace.

    Lecture Technology: A relatively new concept, lecture technology records live lectures and these recordings are then available to online learners for downloading.

    Videostreaming: Latest Internet tools have eased out the process of learning through web and real time video streaming, which is a remarkable achievement in this regard. Buffering of digital media, both audio and video, and simultaneously displaying the data to online learners create a better picture than classroom learning.

    Audio and Videoconferencing: Participants at different locations exchange ideas, thoughts and tutorials and indulge in discussions using audio and videoconferencing tool.

    Data Conferencing: Whiteboards are fast replacing the blackboards of traditional classes to facilitate exchange of data through a network of personal computers.

    Chat Rooms and Discussion Boards: Chatting is the good old technique of online conversation and it has proved its essence in online learning as well. At the same time, discussion boards are meant for learners with different expertise level to share their knowledge and entertain the queries of others.

    Web CT: Web CT or Web Course Tools is another system, which has changed the face of blackboard learning. The interested learners require purchasing a password to explore the books and tutorials published and stored in a huge database.

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    Learning how to use a virtual classroom is necessary for all age groups as society moves toward a cyber-world. Advanced technology has allowed people from all over the world to meet online and grow academically and with this explanation, you are well on your way to success.

    References:

    www.america.gov

    North American Council for Online Learning