Online learning has thrived in the Covid-19 era because it can be done from any part of the world and at any time. Restrictions to face-to-face interaction and in-person schooling made Internet learning the holy grail that saved the education system in the United States and abroad. Students had virtual classes over video calling apps just like workers held remote meetings through similar apps.
Millions of students, from elementary to senior high and even college-level, enrolled in online courses. Some of these schools stood as independent organizations while others were developed as extensions of regular schools. In any case, online schools haven’t come without disadvantages. There have been some unforeseen consequences of online learning that cannot be ignored in the long run.
Potential Drawbacks of Online Learning
If your student is continuing their education plan at home in a long-term capacity, here are a few potential negative byproduct to anticipate in advance and circumnavigate to avoid:
1. Feeling of Isolation
Humans are social beings and children rely significantly for their development on socialization with peers, although this doesn’t mean that they can’t get the education they need when they learn from home. After all, some students were fully homeschooled long before there was anything like the Covid-19 pandemic. However, things are different when students are already used to schooling with peers and there is little to no adjustment period. The feeling of isolation that comes from switching from in-person schooling to online learning is second to none. Interactive apps are used during online classes to help students deal with this feeling of isolation but it’s nothing compared to in-person socialization.
2. Maintaining Healthy Habits
Health is the primary factor that influenced the nation-wide lockdown. There was no way to determine if these students could keep themselves safe from getting infected and spreading the virus to others. So, to keep them protected, parents were encouraged to shield them at home. Unfortunately, there are still some major health challenges students might face when they spend too much time on a computer. Studies have shown that extended computer use contributes to bad posture, eye strain, neck pain, obesity, and many other healthcare challenges long-term.
3. Network Problems
Without the Internet, online learning cannot work. So, what happens when there is an interruption to the network while a virtual class is ongoing? What happens when students are off the grid on a family vacation and they cannot access the Internet? In the United States and other developed parts of the world, Internet connectivity isn’t usually a problem as long as students are at home and the WiFi bills have been paid. The story is different in low-income nations that still struggle with Internet connectivity and accessibility. Some students don’t even have access to computers or any other tech device that can be used for online learning.
4. Teacher Resources
Teachers need support from proper resources and tools to be successful for online learning. Many of them had to take crash courses on digital technology before they could offer students online lectures. Catching up hasn’t been easy, for teachers and administrators alike. Some teachers also face a lack of adequate funding to complete their job requirements well. If you’re a teacher, you can take advantage of some free online resources on Computersciencehero.com.
5. Reduce Distractions
As the pandemic started, students weren’t the only ones that had to stay at home, their parents also worked from home. Students with older and younger siblings have complained of too many distractions at home. Imagine a situation where one student is trying to learn and everyone else in the house is watching a movie or making loud noises. Even the computers used for online learning can be distracting if social sites are accessible and notifications keep popping up. Teachers have tried to reduce the distraction by keeping students more engaged with as many interactive digital tools as possible. If you are continuing your education at home, make a daily practice to remove as many distractions as possible to better focus on your lessons.
Benefits of Online Learning
The factors described above are important and should be taking into consideration. However, that doesn’t mean that online education does not have its merits. In fact, the benefits of e-learning far outweigh its drawbacks. These are some of these benefits:
- During Covid-19, remote learning has taught us how much can be done remotely, particularly with regard to education
- Remote learning gives the student more flexibility and allows them to learn at their own pace
- Due to the students’ newfound familiarity with virtual education, they are much more aware of the opportunities within their reach. They are now able to connect with tutors outside their local area who may better fit their needs
- Finally, while Covid has certainly impacted the landscape of education, it has also opened our eyes to the possibilities that lay in a virtual future
Many parents across the United States have complained about the drawbacks of online learning as far as their children are concerned. They believe that their children aren’t getting enough education from online programs. Online bootcamps may be an efficient tool for some students to turn online learning into the most positive experience possible.
About the Author
Artur Meyster is the founder of Career Karma, a community focused on matching members with the perfect bootcamps to hone their professional technology skills.