With the advent of the 2020 pandemic, students were forced to adjust to a new way of learning — online learning. This, of course, held true for teachers and parents as well, who had to accommodate their teaching style to an online learning platform. As with all big adjustments, this brought about new challenges in need of innovative minds. Today, most students of the world now call a laptop their blackboard; desktop their classroom. We have made it work. However, is online learning better than in-person learning? In this article, we highlight the most important differences between the two. Including the pros and cons of online learning for kids.
Pros and cons of online learning
Benefits of Online Learning
Let’s start here since it is the most pressing matter these days, and worth some praise. Learning online has invited a completely original learning/teaching routine for those involved in its process. The biggest notable (and obvious) difference is the lack of community and fellowship implied in the more conventional learning system. Although this has come with its costs, it has brought along a host of benefits as well.
Firstly, we’ll mention the solid facts: For one, online learning courses have allowed students and parents to save time by minimizing or eliminating travel time completely. This goes hand-in-hand with our next point that learning from home means maximum comfort. If you’re not feeling your very best but still have the acuity to learn, you can attend class from bed instead of missing a day of school. This increased comfort and efficiency can be a make or break for some kids who thrive without social pressure.
Another perk for online learning worth mentioning is the immense aid that technology can offer. To put it frankly, computers are great a storing data. Here’s another time-saver and stress reliever for frantic teachers who’ve always carried the extra burden of organization. With a computer, it’s simple for teacher and learner to access past or future assignments, homework, test results, and projects. Plus, the vast reservoir of information offers initiative for the focused and responsible student.
Disadvantages of Online Learning
Online learning takes a heavy blow with the absence of presence that is available in conventional learning. This can be problematic for kids who thrive from group learning and have a more aesthetic-based style when it comes to assimilating information. This can also pose a challenge for teachers who lose both the opportunity and conviction to give enough personal attention to individuals who may need it.
With the lack of structure and simultaneous accountability online, kids can become easily distracted or swayed off-topic. Busy parents may also struggle to keep up with their child’s academic schedule. Finally, technology is subject to glitches and errors. If the program gets a virus or a child’s learning tool is damaged, it could cause serious setbacks.
Pros and cons of In-person Learning
Advantages of In-Person Learning
It’s worth noting that in-person learning is really all we’ve ever known as a species. To that point, we are genetically accustomed to absorbing information through all five senses and assimilating it as we go along.
Learning within a classroom provides a feeling of community for all involved in the learning process (the whole school). Through personal interaction, students and teachers are allowed to experience learning together. Moreover, a more intimate connection is bridged between the actual being and their techniques or scores. This can heavily influence how learners appreciate their leaders and vice-versa.
This is especially essential for younger learners, who rely heavily on interactive engagement and the influences of their peers. Kids look forward to spending time with their friends and teachers and developing their own sense of wonder therein. Not to mention, kids being at school definitely takes a load off of parenting!
The Disadvantages of Learning In-Person
Learning in-person loses the battle of flexibility to online learning. Traditionally, the school curriculum is tight, with little room for malleability. If any setbacks occur during the year, the class will be behind schedule and forced to make up for the lost time. This is hardly an issue for online students.
Learning within a classroom is also more costly due to necessary expenses such as textbooks and school supplies, especially for younger kids. Last but not least, online learning exposes far fewer health risks to school staff and classroom attendees in light of a pandemic.
Online Learning For Kids: Conclusion
Surely, there are both pros and cons of online learning for kids. Although there might be no ‘best choice” when it comes to which is the best method for learning, it’s comforting to know both paths offer strong opportunities for both students and teachers. Perhaps, if circumstances allow, a healthy mix of the two is optimal. This can be in the form of having daily online classes, and monthly in-person meetings, for example. Or online schooling and in-person extracurricular activities, or vice versa. It is always a good idea to experiment and see what works best for the kid and the parent alike!