How GIIS Noida is Effectively Trying to Provide Better Classrooms for Students

GIIS Curator
Dec 3, 2020
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In recent years, virtual or online learning, an alternate technology-driven learning method, has been growing steadily. However, in the aftermath of the current pandemic that brought the whole world to a halt, it has become the go-to learning method since learners couldn’t go to school.

At the beginning of the year, academic and teaching activities were in full swing. However, the global lockdown put a stop to all that. The current situation has thrown virtual learning into the limelight as all the stakeholders in the education sector look for ways to resume learning. GIIS Noida has successfully leveraged virtual classrooms for continuing learning activities since the start of the pandemic in the country.

What is a virtual classroom?

A virtual classroom is an online learning environment where learners can interact with other teachers and their peers while participating in learning activities. It’s a shared virtual space where educators and learners can interact as they normally would in a physical classroom. You can share course material, assignments, tests, collaborate on projects, and so on. Various tools are used in a virtual classroom, such as video conferencing apps and file-sharing tools.

Virtual learning can be divided into two groups: synchronous and asynchronous learning. Synchronous learning happens in real-time, and the participants experience something close to the traditional face-to-face learning done in classrooms. Asynchronous learning includes the use of prerecorded learning materials such as instructional videos together with course materials and is typically self-paced. Synchronous virtual classrooms can bridge the gap created due to closure of schools amid pandemic and add significant value to online learning by addressing a learner’s need for social interaction and psychological well being.

Virtual learning at GIIS Noida

Early this year, the international school in Noida launched virtual classrooms where students from the school could continue with their learning despite the lockdown. These virtual classrooms are meant to help students all over India overcome the challenges Covid-19 has brought. They are conducted through video conferencing technologies allowing over 11,000 students at the various GIIS school campuses to continue learning from the comforts of their homes.

According to the Assistant Director of Technology at the Global Schools Foundation (GSF), Mr Arjun Temurnikar, the institution has invested and incorporated various educational technologies to help deliver the maximum learning experience to every learner. The virtual classes are a great example of that.

During the launch of the virtual classroom program, CBSE secretary, Mr Anurag Tripathi praised the school’s effort to continue providing education to children despite the current challenges and urged all CBSE affiliated schools to introduce similar initiatives to help learners continue with their schooling. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual classrooms facilitate learning and teaching at GIIS, allowing learners to have uninterrupted learning experiences by adapting to challenges. They allow for the dynamic exchange of ideas with real-time interactivity. The school has also adopted several innovative teaching methods that learners can take advantage of to maintain the pace of learning.

The virtual classrooms are easily accessible to students of all ages. By simply clicking on the secure virtual classroom link within the MyGIIS portal, learners can get connected and start learning. The proprietary EduERP learning system was developed by the research and development department of GIIS. What’s great about this learning system is that it allows learners to stay up to date with their classes even if they get sick. For instance, if your child gets a cold, you don’t have to worry about them missing out on school. Even if they can’t attend physically, they can join a virtual classroom and continue learning as if they were inside the classroom.

The virtual classrooms are very interactive. They have digital smart board displays so students can follow what the teacher is teaching; easy to use video conferencing facilities; microphones for clear sound, all of which enable teachers to offer greater flexibility to students in case they can’t physically attend class. It makes teaching continuous as all students are kept up to date on how the class is progressing. Through the school portal, learners can log in and participate in an on-going class using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

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Benefits of virtual classrooms at GIIS Noida

1. Versatility and access to learning materials

Having to attend a class physically means that students miss out on what’s taught during the class if they miss it. But, with a virtual classroom, students can attend the classes from anywhere. They also offer students a simple way of accessing learning material. All they need is a smart device and an internet connection. Since virtual classes can be recorded and archived, students can revisit any lesson at any time and learn at their own pace.

2. Student-centred learning

In traditional classes, teachers use lectures to teach learners. However, this format often makes them passive learners as the focus is on the content taught, and students must work on their own often. Virtual classes, on the other hand, offer students enough time to go through and digest what they have learned. These classes offer one-on-one interaction between teachers and learners, allowing them to interact equally through active participation, collaboration and communication. Therefore, even though it’s still a class setting students can learn at their own pace rather than struggling to keep up with others.

3. Lessons can be personalized to accommodate different learning styles

The content in virtual classrooms can be personalised to accommodate the learning needs and styles of different students. For instance, visual learners have videos and images to help break up the dullness of text. There are also audiobooks and virtual tours that students can use to customise their learning space as well as enhance and improve learning.

4. Better class turnout

Given the current inability for learners to attend school physically, there’s a high chance of low student attendance even if schools are reopened. However, this low student turnout can be boosted through virtual classrooms. Hence, even though learners are stuck at home, they can still attend their classes regularly.

5. Increased engagement

The use of audiovisual tools to teach helps increase engagement and participation from students as many feel safer interacting with teachers and other students virtually. The added visuals also make lessons a lot more fun and interesting. Take history, for instance — it can be made more exciting and fun by adding a few images and visuals of historical events to help learners visualise what happened.

6. Enhances collaborative learning

Collaborative learning is when pupils work together to achieve a common goal, understand course material and solve problems together. It allows them to develop different skills as they collaborate on classwork. In virtual classrooms, learners  learn not only from their teachers but other students as well. Their fellow students also serve as a source of information, motivation to learn and moral support when having a hard time with classwork.

The GIIS virtual classrooms are helping revolutionise learning for students at its Noida campus and across other campuses. They are able to continue learning and prepare for their exams while staying safe at home while the pandemic gradually passes. Aside from allowing students to continue learning, virtual classrooms have more benefits, such as increased interaction between learners and teachers. Now thanks to technological advancements, learning is no longer confined to a physical classroom. Learners can continue to acquire knowledge from anywhere, anytime.

GIIS Curator

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