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Finding Your Virtual Niche

By: Meredith Biesinger

There is no such thing as a “one size, fits all” virtual learning resource. What students and teachers need is so varied, that it’s impossible for a single company to produce a product that suits everyone, all the time. However, it is very possible to produce and market a product that suits groups of educators and their students. Find your niche.

 

In March 2020, every teacher suddenly had to create a virtual learning classroom, and every student across America became a virtual learner. It was a historical moment; and what would have been considered impossible just months prior to the pandemic, became possible. Now, many months have passed, and educators are discovering what works for them in a virtual classroom setting and what doesn’t.

I’ll give an example of a program that overall works. LEXIA Core 5, is a highly interactive reading program, that includes software and printable lessons . Lexia presents excellent blended learning opportunities, and is a great resource for elementary school readers at varied levels. However, opportunities for social interaction and collaborative engagement are non-existent. This opportunity, if presented among students, could push learning even further. Lexia Core 5 is a wonderful example of a company that has discovered their niche, and when used in a traditional classroom setting, it is quite ideal. However, when transitioned to a virtual setting, there is still room for improvement, or modifications, to better suit a virtual classroom.

We have all had to adapt and overcome new challenges, and experiences this year. Right? Currently our “new normal,” is increased virtual learning, which only increases opportunities for education companies to create new, virtual, experiences for educators and their students. Now is the time to identify your niche in the marketplace, and brainstorm how to modify it to increase the product’s performance in a virtual learning environment.

It’s a good idea to personalize a product, or products, for our new, online learning platforms, because those platforms won’t go away, they’ll just evolve from this point forward. It’s also a good idea to find your niche, and personalize various resources, and products, because after-all, learning is personal. In fact, that’s the idea, to make it personal! Although there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” learning program, or resource, personalized learning is for everyone, and it’s what teachers strive to do daily. Teachers in virtual classrooms can still deliver personalized learning experiences to students with effective resources that are designed to do so.

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