In 2017, the classroom setting is evolving at a rapid rate. Not only are our classrooms now more collaborative than teacher-led, but many schools now have a whole host of pupil- friendly technology to encourage the development of enquiry based skills in our own independent learners.
So, what exactly is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and why is it an essential tool in modern education?
In simple terms, a VLE is an online platform used by educators to share educational resources and materials with their students through the internet. Establishing a class or school VLE enables pupils to engage in learning from anywhere in the world, enabling them to continue their own personal learning out with the traditional classroom, with the only pre-requisites being a mobile device, and internet access. With so many pupils now being referred to as ‘Digital Natives’, it makes sense to allow pupils to relate more closely to their learning outcomes through the familiar setting of the web.
Let’s take a quick look at why the decision to #GoVirtual may be one of the best you, as a teacher have ever made.
Have you ever been last in the copy room to print your class’ homework on a Monday morning? Say goodbye to the queues, as your new VLE will completely eradicate the need to make a handout ever again, be it homework, newsletter or worksheet. Yes, eco-warriors, that does make you a more sustainable classroom in addition to saving you precious time.
‘But how do my pupils access the homework?”, you ask. Simply upload your pdf to your the VLE, and it will be available at the click of a button. In addition to attached files, you also have the freedom to embed content such as video links, online tutorials or learning games to provide further consolidation of the concepts taught in class.
But what about permission slips or essential parental questionnaires? Fear not. Online forms make all of these paper based options a pest of the past, and eliminate the countless hours wasted on inputting this important data.
Whether you choose to accept and give feedback on the homework in digital or paper-based format is up to you: the most important thing is to make these positive digital steps all at a pace which you are comfortable with. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
In addition to promoting the use of technology for learning at home, VLE’s also have the capacity to encourage timely and convenient communication for both teachers and parents. Have an urgent note to deliver? Simply take a few seconds to post it to your online noticeboard and within seconds, your class’ parents are fully updated. It is also now possible to organise parent-teacher meetings without ever having to leave the classroom, and video conferencing makes this incredibly easy.
Would you like to find a way to communicate with parents who speak English as an additional language? Look no further than your VLE platform to help translate discussions and promote positive communication for all.
As if all this weren’t efficient enough, you can now use your own VLE platform add-ons to mark and grade the work which you have assigned, automatically upload the data into a spreadsheet, and finally show this pictorially in a graph of your choosing, in no more than a couple of clicks.
Of course, establishing your own school or classroom VLE can be overwhelming, but worry not. DigiTech Learning are here to empower and support you on your digital journey, every step of the way. Contact us for more information or to book a workshop today.
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