Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Pros and cons of remote learning in the era of COVID-19

COVID-19 changed the world forever.

Schools were temporarily shut down, forcing students into the eerie reality of attending classes in their living rooms with little or no advance warning. Although some students have thrived in the remote setting, some continue to struggle. This article explores the pros and cons of distance learning in the COVID era.

  1. One of the main challenges of remote learning is ensuring students have all the necessary equipment that they need to attend their classes. Under normal circumstances, students would commute to school in order to have access to teaching in person. However, with remote learning, internet, electronic devices and a good learning environment are essential for students to access their classes virtually. Not to mention knowing how to utilize those devices or use the learning applications.
  2. We live in a modern age of technology so one would assume that every student owns or can use a device but unfortunately many students do not have that luxury and, in that case, transitioning them to learn virtually can be difficult.
  3. Every child has learning differences ranging from reading, to speech, to understanding. As a result, most students have difficulties working on their own. In most cases during the virtual classes it may be difficult to grasp concepts because of the lack of in-person hands-on experience from teachers.
  4. Students can become overwhelmed with assignments they have no clue how to complete and because of the physical absence of teachers, it may take days to get assistance since teachers themselves have their hands full.
  5. The entire transition from learning in classrooms to learning virtually has been a game of catch-up from day one. Students are constantly trying to keep up with the multitude of assignments from their various subjects which leaves them mentally exhausted, stressed and demotivated. And the distractions are real, especially for younger kids. Imagine trying to attend classes in an environment with a television or a game playing in the background. You will never fully focus when something you love is airing on TV.

Despite all of the uncertainty, frustration, and mixed emotions, some good things have come out of virtual learning.

  1. Students get to sleep in and save money on commuting.
  2. They can manage their own deadlines for assignments and work at their own pace.
  3. Above all, not having formal tests is a stress relief because students would normally stress over grades post distance learning.

These are tough times for teachers, parents, and students alike, but it is important to remember that they are all doing the best that they can, given that we are living under a global coronavirus pandemic. 

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