Online Classes vs Physical Classrooms: The Best of Both

Online classes combined with physical sessions give rise to a unique model of learning called hybrid homeschooling, where children divide their time between a traditional classroom and a homeschool. It combines the features of physical classrooms and online classes, so students get the best of both worlds.

Earlier, classrooms only meant physical classrooms in a school. After the pandemic, this definition changed. Now classrooms also include virtual learning environments. Keep reading to understand the differences between physical and virtual classrooms.

What is an online classroom?

An online classroom is a digital experience where students and teachers can connect in real time. Teachers use video conferencing, online whiteboards, and screen sharing in online classes while conducting live lectures, virtual office hours, and discussions with students. In addition to the experience of physical classrooms, online classes have the added benefits of instant feedback, interaction, and file sharing. They are highly customisable and accessible to users on several devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.

What is a physical classroom?

Physical classrooms create a face-to-face interactive environment for teachers and students. There are different materials and furniture like projection screens, blackboards, benches, and desks in a physical classroom. The elements of a physical classroom create an engaging experience for students. But, books and lessons are not enough to keep students interested. Other aspects like the teachers’ attitudes and especially peers play a crucial role in determining students’ interest in the classroom. 

The pros and cons of online classrooms

Online classes allow students a comfortable learning space. There are fewer chances of instances of bullying, fighting, and disease transmission. Students have the flexibility of working at any time of the day and whenever they want. They don’t need to purchase expensive textbooks but only need a stable internet connection to attend classes.

There are fewer options for students to engage and get involved in recreational activities in online classes. Since all of the work is online, they tend to become less social. Hence, there may be a lack of interpersonal skills like teamwork, leadership, and other social skills. They may miss out on the experiences of classroom-related activities like class parties, face-to-face presentations, and classroom games. Working in isolation may also prove discouraging for students. Also, there might be endless distractions for some students during online classes.

The pros and cons of physical classrooms

A physical classroom environment is the most common and traditional learning environment. A proper physical classroom and face-to-face human interaction are hard to replace. Various classroom activities like group discussions, presentations, and projects teach students to interact with one another respectfully. In physical classrooms, discipline is a crucial part of learning. 

Educational institutions charge more money for physical classrooms. Travelling to school may take up time from one’s day, especially during unfavourable weather. After the pandemic, exposure to viruses is high in a physical classroom environment. Physical classrooms are less flexible with rigid schedules that are not subject to change.

Hybrid homeschooling is a perfect combination of online classes and physical classrooms. Birla Brainiacs is India’s first hybrid homeschooling platform with customised learning material, daily live classes, and an integrative curriculum.