April 14

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Online Classroom Spaces


When we think of the word classroom, we always end up thinking of our classroom in school or college. We never think about the other place where teaching and learning take place as well. A library, a lab, a lecture hall, an interactive classroom with smart boards and so many other places are often left behind when we think about a classroom as the only place of learning. While a classroom is the place where a student spends the majority of his or her time in school or college, the other places of learning hold a lot of importance too. The students and the teachers equally realised the importance of most places of learning and teaching during the pandemic.

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In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when the online teaching system had not been developed to the point where it is today and the teachers and students communicated only using emails and messages, the teachers and students felt that they were missing their classes. Not only were they missing their classrooms, but also all other spaces that were dedicated to learning.

 

The purpose of education is to focus on the overall growth and development of the students and hence schools, colleges and all other educational institutions are designed such that learning becomes a part of life and becomes a continuous process that takes place everywhere. The online education system initially when it came into effect focussed on classes being conducted and the education system and the academic cycle not being disturbed due to the pandemic. At that time it was more important to ensure that classes were conducted properly and the teachers and students could interact in real-time for these classes.

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An online classes was the digital version of a traditional class where the teachers could deliver lectures and share course content with their students. They could also interact with the students in real-time and the students could ask their doubts and queries. Group discussions were also possible in the online class. Based on this class slowly online platforms were developed that came to be known as classroom apps and websites. These platforms offered more features to the teachers and students. They could now not only interact and attend classes and deliver lectures but also use the features of such apps and websites to add more elements of a traditional classroom to the online classroom that existed in the virtual world.

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The classroom app helped the teachers and students find a familiar environment for a classroom even in the online space. The features that these apps offered were enough to bring in the various elements of the classroom from scholar college to the classroom in the virtual space. These included the features like a whiteboard or a blackboard, a noticeboard, raising hands before speaking, marking the attendance and so on. The best part about the online classes and the online classes apps was the notifications. The students and the teachers did not have to keep checking the online space all day for updates and they could get all the important information in place on their mobile or their desktop.

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Other than the online classroom, there were various other learning spaces even in the online education system. The virtual world of learning also offered a wide range of learning spaces like the traditional school, colleges and other educational institutions. E-libraries were created to help the students spend more time on self-study and exploring beyond their textbooks and syllabus. These e-libraries were treasure chests of knowledge and not only had books and journals from around the world but also multiple editions of the same.

 

Since these were digital libraries, students could also find video content that they find much more interesting and continue studying, learning and exploring. These e-libraries could either be subscribed to for a minimal fee or be accessed for free by just sharing your student’s identity cards online.

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Digital laboratories were also common in the online education system. Students could look at how things worked in real or even look at experiments online that they would otherwise observe in their school or college labs. The online experience helped them get 360-degree views and other such advanced features.

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