4 Ways Virtual Learning Creates Future-Ready Students
Whether by necessity or choice, more students are turning to virtual learning. For many, it’s been an option for several years, but the number of students who utilize virtual learning continues to rise in light of our current situation. While it's still too early to understand the full impact of long-term virtual learning versus in-person learning, we must consider the areas where virtual learning may truly be beneficial to student growth. Here are four ways that virtual learning positively impacts students and can help them be more prepared for the future and life after high school.
Remote learning helps students hone time management skills.
We can likely all agree that time management is an important skill to learn for life in general. Even as adults—whether we are balancing work and home, finishing home projects, or just planning the day—time management is crucial. Through virtual learning, students can learn on their own time and at their own pace, which is a major reason many parents choose it. Having a flexible schedule means that students are responsible for managing their own time to make sure they get all their assignments completed and submitted, while participating in live virtual sessions and speaking up if they need extra assistance. Students must set aside time to watch their videos, video conference with teachers, complete homework assignments, and take assessments. Time management will build their work ethic by adding structure and helping them prioritize their workloads. Learning this skill is essential, but students who can accomplish managing their schedule sooner will find this benefits them for a lifetime.
Virtual learning helps students learn job-based skills.
Besides having a flexible schedule, students may have access to many more resources and courses than they do in the traditional classroom. Older students may be allowed to take different courses to explore interests and enhance knowledge in a field of study that may lead to a future career. Students who want to learn more about accounting can take accounting specific classes that will prepare them for college and beyond.
One very fast-growing skill for the workplace is coding. There are countless courses on the topic. Students can choose to focus heavily on coding while continuing their traditional courses. These students who use virtual learning to not only learn traditional course material like math and English will be better prepared for life after graduation.
Online learning helps students improve their digital communication.
Communication has always been key to working with other people, but now we’ve added much more digital communication to our lives. Students who take advantage of virtual learning can be one step ahead of other students. In the business world, email is essential, and for students who are virtual learners, it may be one of the primary methods they use to communicate with teachers, other than a learning management system (LMS). These students will likely learn quickly how to send a professional message while quickly portraying important details to their teachers. Digital communication is a skill that will benefit them in the business world as they should know how and when to send appropriate messages.
Another digital communication skill that future-ready virtual learners will be able to employ is collaboration. Students will have to handle conversations with other students on projects or even just in a video conference. They can learn how to conduct themselves in those settings. When it comes to collaboration, virtual learners will also benefit from learning how to use microphones and headphones appropriately instead of using their computer or phone microphones. They will learn quickly how to discuss and collaborate with digital equipment while using digital tools.
Blended learning prepares students for the workforce.
With the skills they garner through virtual learning, students can be ready to join the workforce earlier and with more success. They will have built up their work ethic because the nature of virtual learning often includes aspects that are self-paced and self-directed. This independent learning will help students in the future as they will be in charge of their projects and tasks at work.
Students will also be more prepared to work digitally. Numerous jobs have had to go digital with the recent pandemic, many of them are still working digitally. Students who employed a virtual learning environment will have less of a learning curve when faced with a virtual work environment in the future. They will be able to seamlessly—or at least with less effort—work from home if necessary because they will be used to working consistently on a computer and communicating with others via their devices. This could actually make them more appealing to the companies looking to hire.
So, not only will virtual learners benefit from this environment, but they will also be future-ready and employable in the future landscape of work. With the necessary skills of time management, positive work ethic, and digital communication to aid them in their job search and to help them be successful in the workforce, students are likely to be able to excel at whatever they choose to do.