http://newyork.broowaha.com/article_published.php?id=4461Advantages of Studying with a
Advantages of the Virtual Classroom
More than one person can view and attend the lesson. A whole family or group can watch and learn together from one lesson. A whole Class or University can attend the lesson, and follow the lesson as a review or
replay, as the lesson is recorded and the recording available, at no
charge, to the attendees. This is bringing the classroom into the home,
school and world, and making Education an International Experience.
The Online English Lesson is fully interactive.
Students can introduce themselves and talk to each other and the
teacher, in the open chatline, without disturbing the lesson once it is
in progress. Students can walk in ad out of the virtual classroom as
they choose, and the student who chooses to watch and read, can do so, without the constant disturbance of classroom noise.
Total immersion in the lesson is possible for those needing to
concentrate. They can repeat words and speak out without fear of
embarrassment, and they can practice their words as they choose, and
repeat every word the teacher says, to learn the correct pronunciation
and phrasing. They can also request clarification or the meaning of a
word by asking the question on the chat.
Questions can be answered by other students as well as the teacher.
More than one student can respond at a time, and variety of responses
can be elicited simultaneously and recorded. Everyone has equal opportunity to participate.
You do not ask permission, you simply type in your question or
response. If you are not fluent with typing, after a series of lessons,
you will learn how to type and thus write, as interaction depends on
the student having the ability to write and type. The whiteboard means
that the student can write a response in their own language, if they
choose to still be a part of the lesson, without having English writing
skills. The student always has the opportunity to constantly respond
and react, and it is their choice. A student can sit and type every
word he hears, or choose to ignore the chatline and concentrate on the
teacher and her voice.
Students who constantly write, type, repeat words, and respond, benefit the most.
Active learning is always being alert and interested and involved in a
lesson. The student who attends and listens does not always get the
same benefit as the student who responds. Students are free to type and
chat freely during the lesson, and ask for clarification or help. Their
responses are recorded for teacher review and follow up lessons. The
student is at all times involved in the lesson.
In the online classroom, the student can be anonymous, and
participate as they choose, without fear of being itemized or
victimized in any way. The Prime Minister of a country could be a student in the class, along with a 5 year old, a bank manager, and a University professor; or a whole classroom
or congregation of a church or Club. There is no way of identifying the
age, race, social status of a student, or even the number of people
attending, unless they choose to identify themselves. An organization
can request all staff and members to attend the sessions and learn
English, and supervise the participation of their staff and members by
watching the replay. The students are here to learn to speak English,
and the only common factor is the fact that they have chosen to attend
the online Classroom and listen and join in the lesson so their
contribution is noticed and recognized.
Students who wish to learn at a faster pace can do so by responding at their own level of ability.
The more adept student responds with sentences and paragraphs, and also
speaks so that his voice can be recorded, and viewed by himself, in the
replay. Students take responsibility for their own learning, and
progress at their own rate and pace, and there are always opportunities
to type new words, and write them on the whiteboard, for discussion and
The added bonus of the Online Interactive Classroom is the variety of students and their backgrounds.
Students can learn about other cultures by interacting online with the
students. In one class, students attend from Korea, China, Japan,
Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Egypt, Taiwan, UK, Saudi Arabia,
America and Turkey. It is a whole International Classroom, and at the
end of the lesson, students know where each student is from, what they
are studying, where they are working, and relationships have been
formed. The final 10 minutes gives students the chance to get to know
each other, and share their personal details, emails and comments.
Students link with each other and a Class Community has been formed.
Students look forward to the next class, knowing that they now have
friends they have made, and that they are part of an Online Classroom.
The Oral session where the student feeds back information from the
lesson, or chooses to speak as they wish, gives the class and teacher
the student voice, and face, if they have a webcam.
Students are able to view the student who is speaking and see their
speaking ability and hear their speaking voice. Only the teacher is constantly available on webcam,
and students can be visible and vocal as well. Students can
listen to each others voices and accents, and focus on clarifying
pronunciation and linguistic features.
The webcam focuses the lesson on the teacher
and the teacher voice, and the model is there for the student’s
learning. The students do not get distracted with other voices and
accents during the lesson, and learn incorrect pronunciation of words,
as they may do in the real classroom by focusing on vocal students
instead of the teacher. The initial presentation is teacher focused
like a lecture, with student listening, the difference being that they
can write comments at any time on the chatline or Power Point for
clarification or extension.
The text of the lesson is presented in Power Point, which also has interactive
features that can be responded to using the chat feature, without
disturbing the flow of the speaker’s words. Students given
whiteboard access can ask questions or clarification on the whiteboard,
as well as on the chat. The Power Point Presentation is Powerful, as it
provides the illustrations and images that may be necessary for
providing the content for the discussion following the lecture.
The teacher also has at her control, her own bank and collection of photos, images and documents
that can be downloaded during the lesson if needed. The teacher
presents the lesson with ready access to a whole Library, and also the
internet. A new Window can be opened if required, and made available to
the students, as well as Youtube videos, movies and slideshows, and
screenshots. You could say, the teacher teaches with the whole Internet and computer at her fingertips. It is Powerful Teaching and even more powerful learning.
The lessons can be one-off, or they can be progressive. The value is
there for the student who attends every session, as each lesson builds
on the last session, and is progressive as well as being cumulative.
A student can join in and review the past lessons, or start with the
current lesson, and progress at that level and from that Point. The lessons become a continuing conversation
and students increase their ability and skills with every lesson and
session, according to their input and level of activity. A student, who
joins in actively, will have a very good basic level of English, within
three months, good with six months and excellent with a year of
instruction. Beginner lessons and Lessons on other topics will commence
as they are created. Active English Speaking
will provide a full days instruction with English Speaking, Writing,
Science, Mathematics, Art and Music. This is not learning from a
textbook, it is active learning with all senses alert and in motion for
the duration. Active learning involves the learner and absorbs the
learner in the learning process.
There is no distraction from talkative or unruly students, as they
can still talk and interact on the chatline, without disturbing the
students who wish to listen and concentrate on the lesson. The student
has the privacy and the right to participate without distractions, and
concentrate on the lesson with their own level of attention. Focus is
on the teacher and the content, and disturbing and too demanding
students are simply disconnected during the time for listening.
The Online Classroom has important place in home schooling, and for students who are traveling, sick, isolated or not able to attend
normal classroom for a variety of reasons. They can choose to attend
hours of online Classrooms, with their attendance and participation
recorded. Students can join in classrooms safely, and socialize and
work together in study groups, with lessons created for specialized
needs. Students in remote Communities, and remote locations, with
access to the internet can attend school. Celebrities and physically handicapped students
can access lessons and maintain their privacy and status. The online
classroom provides a safe and private classroom in a not so private
world. There are no boundaries or limitations, and anyone can join and
participate in an online lesson.
Lessons can be downloaded and used later, and semesters can be created for groups based on the lessons.
The future is providing daily lessons in every subject, including English, Mathematics, Science, Art and Music, with Specialist Courses
in learning Italian, French, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Arabic,
and Japanese. International Teachers will run their own sessions from
Active English Speaking in the areas of their own specialist teaching.
Teachers are already available for advanced Courses of English for Lawyers, Doctors and Accountants.
The World of the Online Classroom is extending its subjects and
boundaries, as teachers join and create their own online Classrooms.
Details and registration are available from Maggi Carstairs Maggi_carstairs@yahoo.com
Don’t just read about it…come and participate in the lessons
Morning Classes will commence soon in Science and Art. The “World is My Classroom” welcomes you as a student and a teacher.
Marguerite Carstairs 2009©
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