If you’re a student, you can definitely vouch for the initial relief and excitement when all educational institutions were closed due to the pandemic. Let’s say, however, that it faded away as quickly as it came. That’s because of the government’s announcement of the practice of online learning through classes that respective teachers would conduct. The discontent among the students about studying during these ‘vacations’ was the least of the worries, though.
Even so, online learning gave rise to even graver and pressing issues. For example, to many families, schools were a haven, an escape from the hardships of life. The closure of schools is depriving many children of their right to medical services, proper nutrition, and social services. In short, there are many significant downsides of the closure of schools.
And, while, online classes are the next best thing besides school-based education during the pandemic, they come with their own challenges. We mention some below along with the solutions to surmount them for a successful education:
Interrupted Online Learning
The first thing that worries any student about online learning is the lack of proper resources. Not everyone has access to adequate internet service. Some might not even be able to afford computers or laptops. Is this not what the underdeveloped and rural countries are facing?
Add this to the fact that those who were living in hostels are currently in search of a temporary place to stay. Students who were working part-time to fulfill their personal expenses are also facing difficulties. The sudden imbalance in the lives of so many students can make it very hectic for them to focus on their studies.
Communication Gap/ Miscommunication
Despite all efforts of the institutions and teachers, there are always things that are misinterpreted or unclear. The lack of personalization and the unfamiliarity that accompanies such a misunderstanding makes it troublesome for both sides.
Other than that, screens also limit the passage of meaningful learning because teachers cannot conduct certain activities. Those include labs students can attend, the physical exercises they all participated in, etc. Even so, with prior planning, students will soon be raising hands (virtually) to participate in remote learning-centric activities. For instance, teachers can encourage students to experiment with everyday items in their homes. That way, the learners can analyze their environment and get creative!
Additionally, teachers can also add Q&A sessions to address any concerns they may have.
Unprepared Teachers and Parents
The teachers received their fair share of challenges after the closure of schools. It was nearly impossible for them to adjust to the new system and do justice to their profession. Even so, teachers are now taking up the mantle for making online learning meaningful and comprehensive for the students.
Undoubtedly, the teachers have to bring about a change in their teaching style and study planner to fit in with the requirements of the situation. They can’t let the classes feel forced and mechanical by completely missing out on the facilitator mentality. How would this affect the students? Click here to learn more.
Also, it is challenging for many teachers to operate electronic gadgets. For this reason, there are a number of applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams that are easy to use for any generation. It also allows them to have a planned and organized class without any disturbances.
On the other hand, this change in teaching style also affects parents. Getting their children to focus, considering the many distractions nearby, is one of the greatest challenges they face. The younger kids, especially, are difficult to control. Maintaining discipline, getting the assignments done, and providing a classroom environment, now count as duties of a parent.
Older students, on the other hand, mostly realize the importance of online learning and often make a conscious effort to participate. Want to see how online classes are going to keep you from going crazy during the pandemic? Read this.
With nothing constructive to indulge themselves in, immature minds resort to entertaining themselves with their tablets and phones — the direct links to the internet. Parents cannot even tell their kids to put away the phones and study ever since online learning is the new normal.
Aside from that, acts of cyberbullying and the access to the dark web are two other grave concerns. Such activities can have adverse long-term effects. Nevertheless, parents and children can consciously monitor their use of the internet by setting timers or using page blockers. The internet can be your greatest ally or enemy, depending on how you make use of it.
Widen Inequity Gap
The pandemic is subjecting everyone to their own hardships. This means online learning will not be the same for everyone. But we use the same parameters to judge them. Isn’t this unfair? Whereas, in a school setting, all materials and facilities were accessible to all students. Students may not work to their maximum potential due to their circumstantial constraints.
Additionally, they may even start blaming themselves for not doing well enough. This can impact their self-esteem and mental health. Consequently, it can lead to an increase in the number of drop-outs once things get back to ‘normal.’ Students should receive help to cope up with their mental problems. Adults and parents should especially pay heed to their child`s mental health.
Whatever may be the case, a student must not give up learning. They should keep looking around for resources that teach them something new. Many countries have advised their internet companies to provide free internet packages. Many major online course sites have also offered their courses free of cost. These measures will go a long way in bringing students back to academics.
Here are a few ways by which remotely held classes can make online learning so much easier. As a privileged student, you must realize its value. A confirmative change in the attitude and technological knowledge – of parents, students, and teachers — can assist in perceiving online learning as an opportunity rather than a hurdle.