Online classes during Covid-19 have come to the rescue for most school children since the pandemic disrupted the normal lives of people across the globe. But the overnight transition to online classes from school classrooms has left most kids and their parents with a new challenge.
While many believe that the new model of education has many benefits, others think that the sudden change has brought disruption in the kids’ learning process and has left them weary and confused.
Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of online classes during Covid-19.
Some of the advantages of online classes during Covid-19 are as follows:
1) Easy accessibility: One doesn’t need to travel long distances to reach schools. One can easily get accessibility of virtual classroom at home by using an Internet connection. All one needs to have is an Internet connection and a device such as computer, laptop, mobile phone or tablet. Online classes save travelling time and exhaustion. A child can get enough time to relax after the classes.
2) Traceable learning: Data of every individual student during online classes are digitally tracked and stored. The teacher can easily trace and track a student’s performance through those data and evaluate them.
3) Competency-based learning: Online classes are often seen to offer more flexibility to students to have a competency-based learning rather than offline classes. Every student has a different learning style. A student possesses his own ability to master a skill at his own pace irrespective of the environment. In school classroom many kids are shy to ask questions because of peer pressure or dominating peers. Many students’ performance goes unnoticed. Online classes give them more scope to ask a question or learn a thing in their own way, at their own pace without any peer pressure.
4) Visually stimulating: In online classes teachers can use colourful PPTs and graph making it more visually attractive than offline classes. One can also conduct instant surveys, polls and quizzes.
Some of the disadvantages are as follows:
1) Economic divide: Online classes may alienate economically disadvantaged students who lack a suitable Internet connection or a device at home. Classes using Zoom are difficult in rural areas where students have less or no accessibility to a high-speed Internet connection.
2) Glued to screen: Children have to spend a considerable time in front of their laptops or mobile phones and tablets. Too much screen time can be detrimental to health. It might affect a child’s body posture and can result in sleep disorder.
3) Lack structured environment like school: School provides a structured environment for learning. When students are confined in their homes their learning process gets disrupted. There are no social interactions or personal connection with peers. Many children learn from their friends. In the absence of the peer groups, most students feel demotivated.
4) Low productivity: Many students lose stimulation in the comfort of homes. It is found that the comforts of homes are decreasing their productivity.
In this situation parents have a major role to play to help kids cope with this “new normal”. To help the kids stay stress free and adjust with this overnight shift in education, parents should take care of the following things:
1) Don’t try to recreate school at home.
2) Be gentle and kind to kids.
3) Allow kids to take breaks.
4) Talk with kids.
5) Allow children to interact with friends through video chat.
Online classes during Covid-19 have resulted in paradigm shift in education. It might be difficult to cope with virtual learning but one should always remember that the shift of education to a virtual module has been made during these challenging times so that children don’t stop learning.