Traditional classroom learning and homeschooling are no longer the only ways one can finish their education.
For many years now, online learning has become an alternate solution for students and professionals alike.
This serves as an easier and more flexible way of pursuing education outside of a traditional classroom setting.
One can study at their own pace and enjoy more personalized learning while pursuing work or other passion at the same time.
How the Pandemic Caused Online Education Boom
For the past decade, we have already seen the significant growth of online learning. But due to the pandemic, many schools all over the world were forced to shut down. Students were then forced to embrace online learning whether they like it or not.
These days, students of all ages are seen sheltering in place. From preschoolers to university students, they are now learning from the comforts of their home. Even as countries and states slowly lift lockdown orders, many are still learning online as part of their school’s health and safety measures.
Thanks to the ongoing threat of the pandemic, many parents continue to fear the safety of their learners. They know that it can be hard for kids to maintain social distancing and practice proper handwashing and coughing etiquette in school. Now, they are torn between enrolling their kids in a traditional school, have them homeschooled, or go for an online school instead.
Our current technologies make online learning a possibility. Some schools make use of applications and tools that enable teachers to video chat with their students. Others already invested in online platforms like LMS solutions to effectively conduct classes online.
One only needs to find a school that caters to the kind of program they need to start enrolling their kids. With simple online research, you can choose between numerous online learning programs for your middle school learner.
Even before the pandemic, there was already an increasing demand for online learning. Big companies were seen buying online learning tools and platforms years before the pandemic broke. For example,LinkedIn bought Lynda.com in 2015for $1.5 billion.
The Hidden Weakness of Learning Online
Many of us already know the perks one can enjoy with online learning. Aside from the gift of flexibility and personalized learning, it allows people to learn and hone their skills while sheltering in place.
With the pandemic continuously causing fear in our hearts, online learning becomes an easy choice for both students and their parents.
But then, even online learning has its own set of weaknesses. These are as follows:
Tech Equity and Accessibility
To enjoy online learning, one needs to have the right tools and equipment to make virtual learning possible.
The problem is, not everyone can afford to buy their kids their personal equipment for online classes. Those who can use other alternative equipment might not have access to a reliable internet connection or a stable power source.
When not everyone has a personal computer they can use as well as a reliable connection or electricity, there will be no equal quality of online education.
They can get left behind trying even as they try to catch up on missed lessons and activities. Some kids will get ahead of their peers, putting them at a better advantage.
Even if the kinds of technology we have these days are already high-tech and sophisticated, not everyone is using the latest equipment required to run a smooth learning process.
The same goes for the limitations of technology. Systems can still crash, computers can break down and connections can freeze, limiting student’s ability to enjoy a flawless online learning experience.
Distractions and Poor Study Habits
One can learn online whenever, wherever. While it offers excellent flexibility, this very feature can be enough reason for students to start taking their studies for granted. Distractions are all around and can tempt them to procrastinate.
Poor study habits can lead to low grades. They might lose control over their learning. Since no one is physically around to guide you and tell you what to do, you might engage in activities that will do your studies no good.
Admin and Faculty Challenges
Educational institutions and instructors can also play a huge role in student’s learning. Not everyone is used to working with technology.
Other institutions only prioritize revenue and would only offer online programs in an attempt to gain more profits in the long run. When administrators and faculties have issues, the student’s learning experience can suffer.
Poor Curriculum and Teaching Methodology
Another problem that arises is when the curriculum offered can’t meet the special needs of online learners.
What used to work in a traditional school setting will not always be successful in online learning. Failure to tailor a suitable and high-quality curriculum will only waste the time and effort of students.
Experts have predicted that online learning is the future of education. But the pandemic has accelerated the need for educational institutions catering to all ages to make the switch.
We can only expect the online learning industry to continuously thrive even after the pandemic.