Last year, a pandemic of epic proportions hit us. COVID-19 brought upon a multitude of changes that we had to adapt to. These changes are still there around the world right now! One of the changes saw educational institutions close down. Teachers had to conduct online classes, and students had to sit at home and attend them.
At first, many students were happy with this arrangement. They got to go home and attend class. How fun! Home learning soon proved to be a difficult challenge. Not just for the students but for teachers and parents alike. Some many pros and cons come with remote learning. Let us take a look at a few of them.
This pro might be a little obvious, but a big plus for students is that they don’t have to attend school physically. For many students, travelling to school may have been a tiring and long journey. Learning from home has its great benefits if you look at it that way! They also get to study in their environment where they are comfortable.
The flexibility of time and location is a huge pro. For teachers, the advantages of online learning are the fact that they can take classes from anywhere. They also have access to ample online resources that can enhance their student’s learning experience. They can also conduct workshops and collaborate with other teachers to develop fun and engaging learning experiences for students.
Distractions! One of the biggest challenges that come with online learning is students being disconnected from the learning process. Being in their house, distractions are plenty. There is a lot of difficulties when it comes to focusing on the task at hand.
To expand on the point above, it becomes challenging for teachers to get their students to focus. If they are in a classroom, it is easy for teachers to track the students and what they are doing. Online learning proves to be slightly more challenging when it comes to getting students to focus on what they are doing.
Now that we have established the pros and cons of online learning, let us take a look at how online learning is in a few different countries worldwide:
All over Europe, online learning has been implemented thanks to national educational platforms available for all. 90% of French households have access to the internet, but only 70% in rural communities. That is why places like France have taken online learning to television shows and the radio.
Many countries in Latin America have developed self-paced online learning. Students can use digital platforms to access their curriculum materials. They have access to WhatsApp or even social media to connect with their teachers and fellow students.
Sub-Saharan Africa sadly suffers from the lowest rates of internet connectivity in the world. Formal online learning falls short compared to other regions worldwide. A large part of the students learns from Interactive Radio Instruction. This is a one-way audio delivery system to two audiences like teachers and students.
In New Zealand, 80% of households have access to the internet. Schools are self-managed and have one laptop per student, provided by either the school or the parents. Students and teachers have also structured self-paced learning, thanks to Google Meet. They have also supplemented television learning with both English and Māori. The Ministry of Education has provided devices to students that lack access and printed packs of learning materials to houses without internet access.
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