Nisha Saith, Head of Biology Department at DPS Dubai, uses the Classroom Operation and Punctuality app created by Amey Deotale. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Virtual classes are a futuristic way of learning preferred by many students because of flexibility, timing, convenience and potential for collaboration, not only with peers in school but also students globally. Students today are digital natives who find online learning engaging and more fun. Such classes also make students more adept at using technology.

However, the disadvantages are that they may be technical glitches such as lack of internet or hardware at home. There may be poor quality of video or audio. Besides this, it is difficult to monitor attendance and attention of students. Most importantly, students miss the fun and engagement of interacting personally with teachers and peers.

As teachers we appreciate the fluidity of digital learning. Many videos can be incorporated, or real time graphs. Research shows that online learning is 9% more effective for student learning. Besides formative assessment is quick and immediate and therefore teachers can accommodate their lessons accordingly. The journey that the teacher and taught can explore is amazing, different and stimulating! Teachers learn too as they explore the wonderful apps available. It’s a time of exciting discovery for all!

All international benchmarking tests are in digital format: this includes TIMSS, PISA and ASSET. Thus, students must be skilled at navigating digital content. Online learning will give our students an edge. In any case, it’s the future of learning. Anyone who has done an online course can vouch for the advantage of flexibility of time and a gamut of information in different formats. Most importantly, global collaboration is instrumental in presenting diverse perspectives and increasing cultural sensitivity.

Rashmi Nandkeolyar is the Principal and Director of DPS Dubai