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Virtual Classroom tech might come into effect in my school, should I be scared for my job?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by pragana_paul91, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. pragana_paul91

    pragana_paul91 New commenter

    All the teachers in my school were assembled for a conference to discuss and supply their advice on the implementation of the Virtual Classroom concept in the school. During the discussion, this image popped up on the screen:


    Now, a few of us (teachers), who are unaccustomed with education technology, fear the loss of our jobs if this tech comes into effect in the school. Tho, the school management assured against our thinking, we still have the doubt.

    Should we be worried, or are we just overthinking this matter?
    Is Virtual Classroom tech difficult to learn?
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Don't worry, it will work for about 3 days then the server will crash or the HT will see the size of the ongoing bill once the initial subsidy has gone and pull the plug. Or if it lasts longer than a fortnight all the headsets will either be broken or stolen.
    Gsr25, bonxie, binaryhex and 12 others like this.
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    A lot of edu-babble there. There is enough to make me think that obfuscation might be the name of the game. They can't spell accessible.
    You are right to have concerns. I have no personal experience of this, but my non mainstream job has a partner organisation that does homeschooling using virtual classroom stuff. It works well for many of the kids at that time in their lives, but the teaching staff are almost call centre drones stuck in cubicles rather than human interaction teachers.
    blazer likes this.
  4. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I worked with ICT in the classroom for just over 30 years, from floppy discs to the arrival of touch screens.

    During that time there wasn't a single (supposedly) world-changing ICT innovation that couldn't be rendered useless by either student apathy, petty theft/vandalism, staff incomprehension, lack of training and support, management short-sightedness, limited budgets, a jobsworth technician, creaking network infrastructure, greasy pole climber career ambition, bandwagon jumping or a simple lack of teacher time. Or all of them put together.

    Bitter? Moi? I suspect your future will be safe. :)

    (Also, the author of DISADVANTAGES information panel above wasn't 'smart' enough to spell accessible correctly.)
  5. geraldbeattie

    geraldbeattie New commenter

    Having had a line manager a few years ago who was all in favour of virtual learning. The students would simply log in, work their way through the online learning and then submit their coursework. Great idea, with lots of big IFs!. As above, if the IT and network works. If the students are self motivated enough to not wander off to social media, etc. (We were told if they did wander off, it was because the material we had created wasn't exciting and engaging enough, despite the lack of time to create, prepare and update it.) They did not buy in any material. This was the comedian who also wanted me to give the students my home and mobile numbers, so they could contact me if they had any problems at any time, even weekends and evenings. My reply that the students had my work email during working hours was met with astonishment and disbelief, especially when I told him I didn't check it during evenings or weekends.
    bonxie, ridleyrumpus, steely1 and 7 others like this.
  6. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    In the short term you might be asked to spend hours writing material.

    Maybe they'll cut staff.

    Long term, it won't work.

    I was at a school 15 years ago. The HT had been sent to sort out a school that let pupils spend 2 days a week learning from home on computers. Strangely enough, Ofsted weren't impressed....
    steely1, blazer and phlogiston like this.
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    We all know that this is the way most teenagers work (NOT!).
    Where have I heard that before?
    bonxie and blazer like this.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Reading through the supposed advantages, most of them are either misinformed (e.g. wrong) or lies (malicious wrong)
    • Personalised I thought face to face was moderately personalised. Writing to a tutor who might respond when they've dealt with 57 other queries isn't quite as good. Admittedly, in a class of 30 you don't talk to everyone every lesson, but at least you see them.
    • Real time I thought face to face was real time. Writing to a tutor who might respond when they've dealt with 57 other queries isn't quite as good.
    • Worldwide exposure You might e-mail someone in a far flung country, but it's unlikely.
    • affordable only if you sack (sorry, redeploy) the teachers.
    • Comprehensive online tutorials Access to a text book that usually doesn't hack it compared to one that's been written to sell.
    • Improved visualisation Visualisation comes from handling real things and comparing them to images and diagrams, not from merely looking at screens
    • Enhanced collaboration Really?
    • Better time management See @geraldbeattie a few posts up
    • Log-on anywhere If you synchronise your device and choose to
    • Introduces ed tech They've already me this from age 5
    • Digital classrooms Whatever that is. Are they necessarily good?
    • Long distance learning Tutor is far away and remote. Is this of benefit to the learner or the payroll people?
    bonxie, agathamorse and blazer like this.
  9. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I honestly think this is the canary in the coal mine, the first drip in what anyone logging on to WD in say 2029 is a raging torrent. If budget cuts and automisation continue, you’ll have massive amphitheatres where the whole of Y8 ‘do Maths’ with one facilitator. I think you should be scared for your job OP but not in the immediate future, the beta test will probably crash during OFSTED and set it back half a decade
    phlogiston and blazer like this.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    There might come a time when many teachers communicate from home to students at their homes, and classrooms become redundant. I am no fan of this, but it could happen. However, imagine how good it would be to turn off some difficult kid's voice at the touch of a button!
    steely1, agathamorse and Dorsetdreams like this.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Horrendous idea but there may well be moves in this direction.

    To save money and alleviate workforce issues etc.
  12. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    @pragana_paul91 So your (traditional) school wants to bring in a virtual classroom. Is this to teach students who live some distance away and who can't get to your school?
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    That's what sending them out of class is for.
    Trouble is they usually have to come back.
    HolyMahogany likes this.
  14. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Even if the new technology doesn't effect your job security, as soon as you hit your 50's and UPS 2 or 3 your HT will probably put you on capability and force you out anyway, to make room for a cheaper NQT, or robot or avatar, or VR teacher or even a trained monkey.
    As long as they can find an alternative that is cheaper than you they won't care where it comes from or if it even works.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  15. jenniephipps

    jenniephipps New commenter

    I work for an online school. I teach from home to classes with a max of 18 kids. The concept is becoming increasingly popular and I really enjoy my job.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  16. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Let's get rid of intelligent, literate teachers who actually thought literacy mattered.I'd like to know what my first HoD would have thought about 'THE BOTH'. Surely this is a joke? Mind you, anyone with a brain would have proofread it if it had been a joke, I suppose...
  17. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    I don't think any educator that is worth his salt would believe that online/virtual classrooms would totally replace face to face. But like previous posters said, it is becoming increasingly popular in UK schools and abroad (Netherlands, US, Canada, Demark, Ireland). That is because it allows students to take extra GCSE subjects and is beneficial to those who have anxiety problems or behaviour problems. In my last school there was virtual learning classrooms for revision. I seriously doubt you need to be concerned about your job as far as technology is concerned. But not everyone is up to face to face learning. We learn in different ways. What you do need to be concerned about is the amount of parents pulling their kids out of state schools (and private) and homeschooling them. That is what I intend to do.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  18. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Not sure if this helps but, as a supply teacher, I sometimes supplement my income, during the School holidays. by working for a Chinese company, teaching Chinese children English: phonics and reading, Maths or Social Studies. This is not quite the same as 'virtual' but is completed over their platform where you show presentations and learning materials in much the same way. If anything parents and the company value the 'human teacher' more than the materials and seek qualified teachers to deliver the internet materials. I think even where virtual classrooms are used, human teachers will also still be used; for example in a Year 6 class I recently covered, approaching their SATS, they had a revision program, completed over laptops/phone/headsets, communicating with 'virtual teachers' ( actual 'real life' teachers through platform) but this didn't replace their classroom teachers or me in the pastoral and traditional teaching roles.
    I'm an 'older teacher' (50, with 20 years teaching experience) who has some degree of IT knowledge and is pretty savvy with most tech, but would by no means saying I am the person to call if anything goes wrong with your PC lol - average skillsets, same as most - so hope this puts your mind at rest x
  19. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    HOWEVER, I do agree with what one previous poster said about 'more experienced teachers' generally. I've noticed, having gone back to teach a few days here and there at schools, I'd visited, say a year ago, that in particular schools, quite a few well-known faces (including brilliant, well-liked, well-skilled teachers and those in SLT) had been replaced by the NQTS. This, thought, is aside from any kind of technological revolution, as it's always happened! The 'system mill' will pay lip service to experience, UNTIL, it all changes yet again, a brand new management team is drafted in and NQTS are sort again - it's all a cycle really. ( resists urge to think or heaven forbid, sing Lion King song) Blessedly, I am never short of work on supply, but I'm not naïve enough to think there is ever a chance of going back on permanent contract, even if I wanted to - which I really just don't - no thankyou very much!
  20. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I'm so glad you refused. This "phone at home" idea is spreading, and I think its horrendous. One job vacancies I saw advertised had this in the job description, being available by phone up until 9 am at night to answer questions on the homework.


    I also refuse to answer emails outside of office hours, much to the shock of some of my sixthformers. Other teachers do, and its sets up an expectation

    One girl met me at the gate as I returned from half term once complaining she had been emailing and emailing, and hadn't got a response. Hadn't I seen all her emails?

    I said no, of course I hadn't, I'd been off for a week, I would presumably see her emails when I got to my desk.

    The whole concept of work emails only being read in work hours and at work just threw her completely.
    Happyregardless and Mrsmumbles like this.

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