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The Remote Classroom: What, Why, & How?

by Jen

You can also read this article in Portuguese.

Introducing the remote class, why it's central to teaching today, and how teachers are navigating this phenomenon in the education space.

Until early in 2020, the remote classroom was seen as an alternative to mainstream teaching, which espoused in-person contact between teacher and student in the shared space of a physical classroom. But since a forced shift to remote work and learning, the remote classroom has taken center stage in the world's drive to sustain a level of education for its youth.

What Is a Remote Classroom?

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Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels.

A remote classroom isn't a classroom at all. Rather, it defines the virtual connection between the teacher and their students. With the remote classroom setup, teachers can still facilitate their regular teaching times, deliver lessons, and stay connected with their students using technology like video calls and conferencing, chat or discussion platforms, online assessments, and more.

Why Is the Remote Classroom So Important?

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Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels.

While remote teaching and learning were becoming increasingly popular, they were viewed as alternative modes of teaching and learning to the traditional classroom which, for many people, represented the locus for higher quality education that couldn't be matched by any remote alternatives.

However, the early months of 2020 saw the rapid spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease, SARS-CoV-2, or 'coronavirus,’ as it is more commonly known. With little understanding of its behavior, plus rapidly rising case numbers and fatalities, governments across the world implemented varying types of lockdowns and schemes to limit person-to-person contact to curb new infections.

The traditional classroom which previously facilitated daily contact with tens and hundreds of people, including teachers and students, would be impacted by this, too. Schools would have to make a swift move to a remote or hybrid environment to continue their work in educating students and maintaining a semblance of routine and order for children and young adults having to adapt to an alternative way of life—and learning.

Even though the education space has been disrupted, the remote classroom has become pivotal in maintaining a system of learning and helping students to move forward in their education. Likewise, the tools and technologies that make the remote classroom a possibility have shifted front and center and are evolving faster than ever.

In a global pandemic, the remote classroom makes education possible.

How Is the Remote Classroom Possible?

pexels-julia-m-cameron-4145153

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels.

The old saying goes, 'Where there's a will, there's a way.' But in this instance, we believe that 'Where there's a teacher, there's a way.' We know teachers to be the most resourceful humans out there and, while they've had to face incredible challenges in the global shift to all things digital, they've stepped up to the plate in some ingenious ways.

Thanks to teachers and technology, education has quickly taken on a new form to continue on into the digital realm. Some of the technologies leveraged by teachers that have made the remote classroom a possibility include hardware and software, both critically important in fostering a seamless and effective remote learning environment.

Here's a brief overview of the basic technology required for a remote classroom.

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Jennifer Rees
Jen
UX Writer