Starting an online school does not seem terrible.
A few years ago, the concept of online schooling would feel strange and unnecessary. Sure, there are lots of online courses, but school? No, uh. But now, everything has changed. And the necessity of the existence of such virtual infrastructure is very important at this time.
Even if you register the latest pandemic situation that has forced all education into a virtual environment, increasing student debt and unemployment in the US has created a need for an alternative education system. Online courses are the first step in this direction, but now it’s time for something new.
If you are too looking for a virtual infrastructure like that, virtually the answer is for you. It integrates everything you need to run a virtual school: payment structure, receipts, infrastructure management, assignments, video classes, communication – see, we are really serious when we say everything. It already has all the basic features, and there is no place to go in the future besides Facebook.
How to set up virtually
Creating an account is simple, and you can even test water for free at the start. This allows you to create one class for up to 10 students without fees and commitments – you don’t even need to provide any payment information. Go to tryvirtually.com and click on ‘Get Started for Free’.
Create an account by providing basic information such as your name, email address, and creating a password. Then, create an ID and name for your school, a short description for your school, agree to the terms, and click ‘Finish’ and it will create your school. So, practically, all you need to do is create a unique ID and name for your school to get started!
Setting up your school in Virtually is a children’s game!
Creating Your First Class
After you set up a school, the next building block is the classroom. You can create one class and register up to 10 students in it for free. On your homepage, click the ‘Create a New Class’ button to get started. This will make basic settings for the classroom, but you will need to edit it further to actually set it up.
Go to the thumbnail for the class, and click on the ‘Other’ option (three dots).
Then, open ‘Settings’ from the menu that will open.
A classroom setting will open where you can manage more details about it, including but not limited to names, descriptions, and prices.
You can and must prepare images to visually define your class – visuals are very important in today’s world. You can also insert a YouTube video if you think the video will be more suitable than the community image on the registration page.
Give the name and description of your class; these are the two most important parameters when defining your class because this is what prospective students who want to register will base their decisions.
Now, in the ‘conference room’ section, the link for Actually this is an internal video conferencing system – Daily.co – coming. But the beauty of Virtually is that you can integrate it with existing devices. So, if you want to choose Zoom as your video calling tool, you can change the link from the Daily.co video to the Zoom meeting.
Now comes the second most important parameter for creating your classroom – price infrastructure. Based on the type of class you want to build, there are two types of models available for you.
The first in this category is the Membership model. This is basically a subscription-based service or more like a monthly fee that students will pay to register for class. You can specify a subscription price for Free, $ 10 / month, $ 25 / month, or $ 50 / month. If there are no price brackets that suit you, you can contact the Virtually Team to make a special price.
Other options available are the Class model. You can assign fees for classes that must be paid by students who wish to register once. For this model, you can also choose to specify a duration for the class so students will know the exact length of the course, or you can choose ‘No duration’ and choose a more flexible schedule.
Almost also offers you free trials for students. Do you want to offer a free trial or the number of days to trial, everything is decided by you. You can also specify the number of seats available for registration or make it unlimited.
After you fill in everything, update the info so that when students reach the registration page for your class, everything is in top condition.
New Payment Plan for Students
One of the most innovative things about Virtually is that it supports the Production Sharing Agreement. A profit sharing agreement is a form of agreement where you do not take any fees or payments from students in advance. Instead, you agree to receive payments in the form of revenue sharing against your students’ future salaries.
You can explore this option by contacting Virtually the team if you think it is suitable for your program and not the subscription model or traditional class mentioned above.
Manage Your Class
Click on the thumbnail to open the class. You will reach the overview page for the class. Click the ‘Invite Students’ button to share the public registration link for your class.
After students register in the class, everything you need to manage your class can be present in the navigation bar on the left.
If there is an announcement, you can handle it directly from the overview page by posting it as a group post. Here, you can also schedule lectures for classes in the form of live events by clicking on the ‘Create a New Direct Session’ button.
This event can be repeated or once, and you can schedule it at the date and time you want. In other words, this allows you to create a complete schedule for your class. You can even choose to hold this lecture in other video conferencing applications by replacing the link for daily. Meeting rooms together with links for meeting rooms from other apps.
Lectures can be scheduled as live events, so you can have a complete schedule – like school.
Open ‘Live Room’ from the navigation menu when you need to hold an impromptu class, e.g., Video meeting with students.
You can share any material and resources with the class by opening the ‘Knowledge Base’ section. Be it text documents, URLs, or other file formats such as videos, presentations, etc., you can share them all here, and all students will be able to access them.
To communicate with each student, open ‘Directory’. You can send messages to students in the form of e-mails from here. Just type what you want to send, and Virtually takes care of the rest for you.
Whatever assignment you give to students can also be managed from the navigation menu where you don’t have to handle student assignments; It virtually handles everything for you, from creating assignments to sending. But the task feature isn’t available with a free package.
Student payments can also be handled directly from here, and you can use PayPal or Stripe to receive payments from students. So basically, everything you need to run a school is present in one place in a very sleek and easy to use interface.
How to Increase School Size
If you like it virtually and want to increase the scale of your school to include more students and offer new classes, you can upgrade to their paid package. Apart from the Beginner’s plan (which is free), Virtually offers Pro and Business packages.
The pro package costs $ 40 / month, and in addition to all the free features, it includes support for up to 100 students, but you can still have only one class. This package also adds support for the Assignment feature, which is not available with free packages. You can also have up to 3 admins / instructors, the limit is 1 with the Starter package.
Now, if you really want to increase the scale of your school to have unlimited classrooms, unlimited students, and unlimited instructors, a Business plan is the choice for you. The costs for the business plan are not listed, and I have to contact Virtually the team to share all the details.
The Business Plan also offers many new features such as special domains, White label branding, Slack integration, acceptance, and Revenue Sharing Agreements.
Running your own school seems like a daunting task, but the way Virtually makes it look manageable and like a child’s play is an amazing achievement. If you want to start a virtual school, there’s no need to search anymore – you have found the perfect place to make this modern puzzle.
And if you are still not sure about that, you can even schedule a short demo with the Virtually team and then decide what to do.