UNDERSTANDING VIRTUAL EDUCATION
Today is a new day in the world of education. Welcome to the cyber world where education is possible at the touch of a keyboard. Meet the cyber generation of individuals who have moved education beyond the boundaries of the classroom. With the limited amount of time most people have allocated to their schedules, the need to reach the top and stay ahead in the world has caused people to look to “Virtual” opportunities.
The term “Virtual “ is defined as “that which is not real” but may display the full qualities of the real. It’s impossible to argue the fact that the world is forever-changing. A primary example of this change can be seen thanks to the World-Wide-Web. There are endless possibilities when it comes to cyberspace. One of the more remarkable possibilities is education. Students now belong to the “virtual world”. In recent years there has been a growing interest in `digital’, `online’, or `virtual’ universities. Today, it is commonplace to read about information and communication technologies that have radically reconfigured the landscape of higher education, changing the very nature of what 'university' means.
Individuals with a vision for expansion and growth have created new virtual mechanisms which decrease the importance of the physical campus, as students `login’ from a distance to access `web-based’ instruction. New media technologies have replaced traditional lectures, courses are delivered and assessed over the Internet, and all in the hope of making higher education available anywhere and anytime.
Depicted as a solution to the increasing demand of higher education, virtual education has sparked the imagination of academics, policy makers, university leaders, and educational specialists alike. This constant interest in something new and unique has given rise to the creation and development of virtual universities. The notion of a “virtual university” is a potent alternative for the future of higher education.
Virtual universities are currently positioned to straddle between conventional campus-based learning and the growing number of distance/online learning projects. It is these learning options that focus on current methodologies, offering many advantages to students in remote areas, as well as students attending part-time programs. In the long term Virtual World technology will ultimately become the primary tool for introducing and enabling completely new and innovative teaching methods. The primary goal of the Virtual education is to offer maximum flexibility, independence and individual service to the learner and at the same time to provide tutorial support and social contact. This all blends together to make virtual education the way of the future.