According to UNESCO, around 300 million students are out of the classroom. The pandemic changed the face of education. Everyone is now answering their roll calls online; students are either attending live online classes or prerecorded ones.
This shift from traditional methods to online classes came suddenly as the world was fighting against a new virus Covid19. Everyone in the education system had to adapt quickly to this change in order to continue classes; although we live in the age of the internet, the transition was not easy, and online learning proved to be challenging.
Before we go into the details of online learning lets, discuss how effective an online education is.
How effective is learning online?
Like everything in life, not everyone is equal, and some do gain more advantages than others. For instance, students who have access to the appropriate technology have been shown to retain more information while studying online than in traditional classrooms. This is because if students have all the material, they can study at their own pace and review everything they missed, and they get to pick and choose the topics they need to focus on or need less time on. This means that learning online requires less time to learn.
The same could not be said about students who struggle to attain internet or a working computer. Online learning has proved to be crippling for them as they put all of their energy towards connecting to the internet or waste time finding a pc than actual learning. They are adding extra costs, which means more pressure on them. They also need to focus on understanding the basics of using a computer, a mic, a camera, the internet, and connections. This all creates an anxious environment where it isn’t just about learning anymore. It turns into a barrier that dictates whether or not they can receive an education.
It also varies between different age groups; adults have a longer attention span, so university students are more likely to benefit from a lecture, whether online or now. Kids have shown it to be more difficult to teach online as they are easily distracted, so a virtual classroom isn’t enough to keep them engaged. Their classroom activities are normally in groups, and they need to engage all of their senses, so online learning has proved to be difficult got them as they quickly lose interest in learning.
The hurdles of online classes:
The change into online classes was worldwide, which means everyone in the world was participating in this change. There has always been a gap between countries with wide access to the internet and countries that haven’t, but the pandemic exposed it. For example, Switzerland has reported that 95% of their students have access to the internet, while in Indonesia, the number drops to 34%. So countries are racing to find a better way to service a country as a whole so that their education system isn’t put on hold.
Devices, especially computers, are the essence of online learning as, without them, there is no education. There is also a gap not only between countries but within the country itself. For example, in the united states, there is a difference between classes. Nearly all kids who are privileged had access to a computer to rely on, while 25% of other kids couldn’t gain access. Some countries like Australia have provided students in need with computers, but so far, this move isn’t globalized, and students still struggle to get a working device.
Access to material
Most students have been relying on themselves to study; this means they need access to online education websites. The problem is that a lot of those sites are geo-restricted, meaning that you can only access them from certain countries or are banned from another; this has an easier fix than the first two as it could be solved with a VPN, Namecheap VPN & AVG VPN are one of many that could help you breakthrough geo-restrictions.
The pandemic brought in a lot of challenges not only health-wise but also changed the normality of everyday life, and education isn’t the exception. At this moment, countries are improving the way they educate students, but there is still a long way to go.