Online vs In-class Education: ✅ Pros and Cons
Teaching online wasn't something totally unknown when many schools turned to distance education in 2020. Even before, many teachers had face-to-face or group lessons via different online programs. As well as webinars, courses, and conferences, online teaching took its usual part in modern life. So what has changed so drastically after the online school project has started? Why was it so confusing and hard to get used to? The answer is within us: daily routine, habits, style of teaching and studying were changed into a digital way.
A Great Challenge
Some teachers and students found it easy and exciting to continue in this direction. Some of us couldn't get used to distance studying at all. There are lots of opinions from teachers, students, and parents - people who are involved in the online education process. But all of us have asked the same question: Is online learning/teaching just as useful and productive as the classic, in-class way? Let's try to challenge, analyze and compare all "rights and wrongs" "ifs or whens" to understand if we are on the right path on this road of no return.
A 3D Criteria
So, where to begin comparing? And what are the criteria to judge all "pros and cons"? The result, of course. To start, let's go over some innovations online education has given to us. To be objective, we need to consider it from 3 points of view: teachers, students, and parents. So from now, imagine we are looking at a 3D online education model.
Double the Stress
The first problem teachers all over the world have dealt with was psychological. All the characters they've met in the classroom have changed into something different. Active students became lazier and showed less interest in the studying process. Passive students, in many cases, stopped taking part in the lessons at all.
So it turned out to be much harder to work with the class during online sessions. Counting the fact that there might be a parent listening to the lesson behind the device, and in most cases, it appeared to be that way, teachers faced double the stress than before.
Attention: "Lazy" alarm
On the other hand, from many teachers' perspectives, it is much easier to control the classroom during online lessons. The teacher is free to choose any activity and any student to participate in, with the help of "Mute" or "Share" options. The teacher doesn't need to come to the classroom earlier in the morning to prepare the classroom for the lesson; it is already there, in digital form. Much easier, isn't it? No need to cut, draw or print out necessary materials. In fact, online education has saved lots of teachers precious time.
Have we ever asked our students what they consider to be better for them: online or in-class? Most young learners immediately start crying about how much they miss their classrooms, classmates, and hugging their teacher. So sweet! Yes, they really feel frustrated and bored sitting hours in front of the PC or tablet. They are just kids, and they need to learn how to build and develop relations, learn how to get up when they fall, learn to help each other, and learn friendship. All of those things, maybe even more important than learning English, Math's or ICT. They simply need to be socialized! And online education took it from them for a while. No wonder, it can't replace in-class studying for all students up to the 7th grade!
But what happens with teenagers meanwhile? Have you ever met more than one per class who misses school? No. They are really happy. The mostly get stuck in social networks and TV-shows. For them, school has stopped existing. Not kids, not adults, half students, they're simply stuck in the unknown. In-class and studying at that stage is more than important. It is irreplaceable - and it is more than just studying. It teaches them to take responsibility, which is connecting to the online session for now. So, is there any education that may count as productive for students after the 7th grade?
Home is where school is.
According to the daily routine of millions of parents, an ordinary morning always begins with taking the kids to school. But what to do when school comes to you through one of the devices? Trouble, isn't it? Instead of preparing breakfast, mothers of young learners prepare books and materials, the teacher requires them to have ready. The most important question is: what to do if you are a blight to run to work? Who is going to check the stream of online lessons and keep attention on how good the child takes part in it? Consider yourself lucky if grandma lives close to you. Life was much easier with in-class education for most of the parents.
But let's stop and think for a while. For a parent who doesn't go out as well, there is a perfect opportunity to check how the lesson with a particular teacher goes. A chance in a million! No need to attend school meetings anymore, all you need to is to listen from your living room.
What are the Advantages?
So now, after we uncovered the curtain to the inside world of online education, can we see the advantages of it? There are some: - it saves time. For sure. Transportation, preparation, organization. They have disappeared from our lives, hopefully not for eternity; - it gives teachers total control of the classroom. Who to let speak, when to speak, and what to say; - it teaches students to be responsible in other ways, by connecting to the lessons. - it lets parents follow the process of education.
We have checked lots of disadvantages as well, but what is the worst one? Technology, of course. What if there is a connection problem? What if the lights go out? What if the device is broken? You know the answer, right?
And the winner is…
Responsibility. Anyhow, any way teachers teach, students study and parents control, there should always be a liability. Otherwise, the process of education won't work.
So, the message to teachers, students and parents – to people all over the world is "Don't give up"! Don't sit and do nothing waiting for the schools to re-open. Don't ignore the "now". Don't lose time with planning future lessons. Take what you have now and be happy with it. Take all the responsibility! Create! Motivate! Smile! Even through the cameras of your devices.
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