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The Remote Classroom: What, Why, & How?

by Jen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

Introducing the remote classroom, 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, in-person teaching. It was mainly used in the advanced education sector to enable learning from a distance. But since the 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 and provide access to education regardless of location, income, or health.

What Is a Remote Classroom?

pexels-august-de-richelieu-4261788 (1)

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels.

A remote classroom isn't a classroom at all. Instead, it describes the virtual connection between the teacher and their students. Using technology for video calls and conferencing, chat or discussion platforms, online assessments, and more, teachers can deliver their lessons within their regular teaching times and stay connected to their students, even at a distance.

Why Is the Remote Classroom So Important?


Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels.

While remote teaching and learning were already becoming increasingly popular, they were viewed as alternative modes of teaching and learning to the traditional classroom. The traditional setting was considered unmatched in terms of quality of education. Remote settings lacked the personal touch, review possibilities, and disciplinary measures available to ensure the progress of students at all times.

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 and 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.

This also affected the traditional classroom, which formerly enabled daily contact with tens and hundreds of individuals, including teachers and pupils. Schools had 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 who already had to deal with every aspect of their lives changing.

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

In a global pandemic, the remote classroom makes education possible. Since then, despite the situation allowing for a return to the traditional classroom, many have seen the potential the remote classroom holds. Access to education has never been as close to universal as it is today, regardless of any individual’s situation. This has opened doors and cleared the path for many to pursue knowledge and take their lives into their own hands, promoting equality worldwide.

How Is the Remote Classroom Possible?


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 that continues into the digital realm. Some of the technologies leveraged by teachers that have made the remote classroom a possibility include hardware and software, both of which are critically important in fostering a seamless and effective remote learning environment. Without the acceptance for technology and the willingness to adapt to a new situation in pursuit of continuous education, the school systems around the globe would likely have crumpled.

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

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Jennifer Rees
UX Writer