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The Pros and Cons of online learning

March 31, 2023

Online learning : it’s the new black, the next big thing, the future of education! Or is it? Well, let’s take a closer look and weigh the pros and cons of this virtual phenomenon.

Discover Everything You Need To Know (Good And Bad) About Online Education

One of the most frequently used terms after the pandemic is the term “new normal.” The new normal in education is the increased use of online learning tools. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered new ways of learning. All around the world, educational institutions are looking towards online learning platforms to continue with the process of educating students. Online learning is at the core of this educational transformation. Today, digital learning has emerged as a necessary resource for students and schools all over the world. For many educational institutions, this is an entirely new way of education that they have had to adopt. Online learning is now applicable not just to learn academics but it also extends to learning extracurricular activities for students as well. In recent months, the demand for online learning has risen significantly, and it will continue to do so in the future.

Pros :

1. Pajama days galore!

Say goodbye to the hassle of getting dressed every day and hello to the comfort of your favourite onesie. Online learning means you can learn from the comfort of your own bed, or couch, or…you get the idea.

2. No more morning commute!

Say goodbye to rush hour traffic and hello to a leisurely breakfast. With online learning, you can save time, money, and your sanity by avoiding the daily commute.

3. You're the boss!

With online learning, you’re in control of your own schedule. If you want to take a break in the middle of the day to do some laundry or take a nap, go ahead! It’s your time, your way.

4. Goodbye, distractions!

In a traditional classroom setting, there’s always that one student who insists on talking during class, or the annoying background noise of roadworks outside. With online learning, you can eliminate these distractions and focus on your studies.

5. It widens a school´s reach

Online education allows schools to reach out to a more extensive network of students, instead of being restricted by geographical boundaries. Additionally, online lectures can be recorded, archived, and shared for future reference. This allows students to access the learning material at a time of their comfort.

6. More money to spend on beer while you are looking after the environment at the same time!

Online learning eliminates the cost points of student transportation, student meals, and most importantly, housing. Additionally, all the course or study materials are available online, thus creating a paperless learning environment which is more affordable, while also being beneficial to the environment.

7. Improved student attendance

Since online classes can be taken from home or your location of choice, there are fewer chances of students missing out on lessons.

8. Suits a variety of learning styles

Every student has a different learning journey and a different learning style

As Albert Einstein once stated, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

Some students are visual learners, while some students prefer to learn through audio. Similarly, some students thrive in the classroom, and other students are solo learners who get distracted by large groups.

The online learning system, with its range of options and resources, can be personalised in many ways. Some think it is the best way to create a perfect learning environment suited to the needs of each student.

Cons :

1. Inability To Focus On Screens

For many students, one of the biggest challenges of online learning is the struggle with focusing on the screen for long periods of time. With online learning, there is also a greater chance for students to be easily distracted by social media or other sites. Therefore, it is imperative for the teachers to keep their online classes crisp, engaging, and interactive to help students stay focused on the lesson.

2. Technical difficulties!

We’ve all experienced the frustration of a slow internet connection or a computer crash in the middle of a crucial lecture. With online learning, these technical difficulties can disrupt your learning experience and add extra stress to an already challenging situation.

It is true that internet coverage has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, but still in smaller cities and towns, a consistent connection with decent speed is a problem. Without a consistent internet connection for students or teachers, there can be a lack of continuity in learning. This is detrimental to the education process.

3. No more human interaction!

While online learning is great for avoiding distractions, it can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. No more chatting to classmates during breaks, or bonding over shared experiences. It’s just you, your computer, and a virtual instructor.

4. Technical knowledge

Online learning requires both teachers and students to have a basic understanding of using digital forms of learning. However, this is not always the case. Very often, people in general have a very basic understanding of technology. If “PCs for Dummies” is one of your favourite books, then maybe online education is not for you.

5. Manage Screen Time

Many parents are concerned about the health hazards of having their children spend so many hours staring at a screen. This increase in screen time is one of the biggest concerns and disadvantages of online learning. Sometimes students also develop bad posture and other physical problems due to staying hunched in front of a screen. Online learning can lead to eye strain, headaches, and other negative side effects of too much screen time.

A good solution to this would be to give the students plenty of breaks from the screen to refresh their mind and their body.

Conclusion

So, what’s the verdict? Well, like most things in life, online learning has its pros and cons. On the one hand, you have the flexibility and comfort of learning from home. On the other hand, you have the potential for isolation and technical difficulties.

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference. If you’re a social butterfly who thrives on human interaction and enjoys the structure of a traditional classroom setting, online learning might not be for you. But, if you’re someone who values flexibility and the ability to learn on your own terms, it might just be the perfect fit.

In conclusion, whether you’re a fan of online learning or not, it’s important to remember that it’s just one tool in the education toolbox.

So, choose wisely, and happy learning!

GLOSSARY

All the words in the Blog that are highlighted in RED, are explained below :

to weigh (v) – to see how much something weighs

pros (n) – advantages

cons (n) – disadvantages

to trigger – triggered (v. past) – to cause something to function

core (n) – the part of something that is central to its existence

to emerge – emerged (v. past) –

hassle (n) – something probelmatic

onesie (n) – a one piece pyjama

couch (n) – sofa

to commute (v) – to go from your house to your place of work

nap (n) – a short sleep in the afternoon

annoying (adj) – something that bothers you

paperless (adj) – without paper

affordable (adj) – something you have the money to be able to pay for

to judge (v) – to form an opinion or conclusion about something

to thrive (v) – to grow or develop well

to suit – suited (v. past) – to be appropriate for

to struggle (v) – to make violent efforts to get free

crisp (adj) – sharp

crucial (adj) – decisive or critical

to disrupt (v) – interrupt by causing a problem

leaps and bounds (Idiom) – with rapid progress

lack (n) – not enough of something

detrimental (adj) – have a negative effect on

loneliness (adj) – feeling of being alone

bonding (adj) – the establishment of a relationship

hazards (n) – dangers

to stare – staring (adj) – to look without moving your eyes away

posture (n) – position of your body while standing or sitting

hunched (adj) – with your back bent over

strain (n) – to make an unusually big effort

to come down to – comes down to (v. 3rd pers.) – to have something as the most important part

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