Distance Learning Pros And Cons
Online education is growing – and very fast. Of course, quarantine played a role. Still, the trend for distance learning did not appear yesterday, and it certainly will not disappear in the coming years.The Internet became an important participant in the educational process back in the early 2000s, and today a rare teacher or student does not use technology in teaching at all. Teachers communicate with colleagues, students, and their parents in messengers, use an electronic magazine and look for additional materials on the Internet.
The opportunity to study remotely attracts many. In the coming years, the proportion of children who receive education remotely will only grow because there are more and more tools for organizing such learning every day. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach, and every teacher should know them to avoid unpleasant surprises. In this article, we examined the pros and cons of distance learning at school.
Pros of distance education
Nowadays, the advantages of distance learning in schools for thousands of teachers are not at all obvious. It seems that distance learning is a sheer inconvenience, a threat to discipline, and academic performance. But this is not the case: distance education has many pros. Here are some of them.
The opportunity to work with each student individually
Distance teaching technology helps to find your own approach to each student. It happens that a timid child is embarrassed to work actively in a class where the views of twenty classmates are fixed on him. But at a distance, such a quiet one feels freer, asks the teacher questions in chat, and completes assignments. And the teacher can choose additional tasks for such students that correspond to their inclinations to maintain interest in learning.
Automation of routine processes
Technology can take over the most tedious part of a teacher’s job. For example, checking homework and compiling class statistics. On average, self-checking interactive workbooks will save you at least 1-2 hours per day, if not more. This system works very simply: the teacher visits the site, selects the subject, class, and topic, finds a suitable assignment and sends a link to the students, and then looks at the same site how they did it.
A chance to master new technologies
The high demand for teachers with distance learning experience is a reality. The ability to use interactive learning platforms, Google Docs, electronic workbooks, and video conferencing services increases your value in the labor market and allows you to find a part-time job in an online school. But even more valuable are the skills of organizing your time, working with students remotely, and the ability to control and motivate them at a distance. If you can handle it now, you can try your hand at online tutoring by next school year.
Distance learning involves very active use of digital technologies, including gamified tasks: online games, quizzes, interactive tasks for quick wits. Let’s not forget that for any child, play is the most natural way of knowing the world. Yes, and high school students like such tasks more than dry tasks from the textbook. Games not only make learning fun – they help measure progress and bring an element of healthy competition to learning. A child who learns with pleasure will do better than one who is bored in class.
The ability to work in a comfortable environment
A teacher who works remotely can live anywhere – in the city or the country, in Canada or Thailand. Of course, travel is limited today, but it won’t always be that way. But the freedom of movement for teachers giving lessons online will remain. Moving away from the noise and bustle of the school atmosphere has a beneficial effect on the state of mind of both teachers and students. It helps them concentrate on the essential aspects of their work.
Cons Of Distance Education
The downsides of distance learning at school are not as numerous as they might seem. However, they are, and the school teachers and students must know what difficulties and limitations they may face.
The need to understand digital technology
Nobody argues that switching to a new style is anxious and exhausting. Especially if there are no uniform instructions, but you need to figure everything out quickly. If you don’t know where to start, start with distance education webinars. With a little effort, you can practically become an expert in all digital educational tools in a week. In fact, there is nothing complicated about them.
Lack of personal communication
For a teacher who is accustomed to keeping all the students insight during the lesson, “home” lessons can be a difficult challenge. After all, with distance learning, it isn’t easy to control all children. All children also don’t get the chance to communicate with the teachers daily. Work on group projects in Google Docs, and other tools for real-time interaction will help solve this problem.
The need to work with student motivation
The modern teacher’s job is not to read a textbook aloud. Its task is to motivate and inspire students, to keep them interested in the subject, to encourage curiosity and initiative. No computer system can take over these functions. And now, as never before, the teacher needs to show all these talents. Teachers may need to pay much more attention to those children who have problems with motivation and organization. Therefore, teachers will have to invent new forms of control over these students.
Absence of a border between working and free time
This problem is familiar to anyone working remotely. When working from home, a person can hardly tell exactly when his/her working day ends. Therefore, people often overwork. On the other hand, it can be difficult for family members to realize that they are not just “sitting at home all day.” Pets will probably interrupt you. Therefore, it is so important to set aside a corner for work and study. And agree with family members that during these hours, no one should distract you and turn to you. And to maintain a healthy balance of work and rest, get an alarm clock that will remind you that every hour should get up and do a warm-up.
Many teachers have already appreciated all the pros and cons of distance learning. And, if you look closely, this system still has more advantages. Every year, more and more children will receive their education online, and the usual offline practices will take on an increasingly digital form.