Virtual education and its challenges
Virtual education is a reality and includes a challenge for academic institutions at all levels.
The global crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic revealed the poor preparation that existed in various sectors of society: health, political, economic and educational. The latter had to speed up a transformation process that was still in progress, virtual education.
In order to continue with the academic processes, teachers and students had to adapt to new tools, new schedules and new dynamics to which, for the most part, they had attended sporadically.
As Adriana Contreras, a graduate in education from the University of Chile, points out, there was a need to resignify the learning space: “Educating online, at this time, means continuing to be with the students, understanding that learning is a permanent task of the subject . The modality is only a means to achieve it”.
Therefore, virtuality represented an important challenge in the teaching-learning process for the parties involved. However, the need to include virtual resources within the educational objectives in institutions, in order to enrich their academic goals, was also clear.
This is how the need arises to rethink conditions and purposes for an educational reality that transcends traditional classes within a physical classroom:
- Training: The teacher must be the first actor aware of the disruptive quality that characterizes virtual education. Before the unexpected change to which he had to adapt; his role as a conventional teacher became that of a tutor who accompanies the student in his process of building knowledge. This new vision of himself is coupled with the discovery of digital tools and methods that complement his work.
- Planning: The teacher, who now enjoys a wide variety of resources, must rethink the contents of his subject. For this, it is important to clearly establish the objectives that he intends to achieve with each of them. Based on this work, lesson planning will be an important component for their success. Through educational platforms such as Moodle, Edmodo, Schoology, among others, teachers can distribute their activities in readings, presentations, homework, forums, workshops, etc.
- Innovation: With the virtual modality and access to multiple ICT tools, the teacher now has more freedom to introduce pedagogical changes in which they could previously be more limited. Through videos, podcasts and games, the student will interact with media and languages that he already knows in advance and, therefore, will have a greater degree of attention and interest.
- Fun: Adriana Contreras recalls that “an effective online class is a dynamic activity that overcomes the time and space limitations of the schedule and the classroom.” The greatest challenge for the teacher, regardless of the modality, has always been to achieve an interest on the part of the student towards the contents of his subject.
Motivation must be the axis in the creation of pedagogical strategies in virtual education, which allow the student to achieve academic objectives through didactic challenges.