The arrival of the Corona Virus required schools to take measures to reduce its possible spread in the classroom. Some schools closed down and utilized online learning (aka distance learning) as a substitute for in-class learning. Other districts used a combination of in-class and online learning (hybrid model).
Online learning presented a difficult challenge to K-12 schools. Many districts were ill-prepared for the transition. Students had to be given laptops and provided with an internet connection if their homes did not have one. Also, teachers had to be trained to teach online. All these preparations had to be provided on short notice with mixed success. Further complicating the transition were students who failed to participate because they lacked familiarity with the program or they opted to ignore their responsibilities.
Online learning was preceded by correspondence courses where the U.S. mail provided the link between teacher and student. The problem with these courses was the slow pace of the instruction. Educators should not be too quick to downplay the possible benefits of speedier internet-based online instruction.
The following are potential advantages:
- Online instruction provides an alternative means of teaching when circumstances force the closing of schools.
Instruction can be provided by teachers from any location at any time.
Teachers can prepare learning modules in advance, save them in the cloud,
4.Teachers can provide instruction to an entire class in real-time, (synchronous
7. There exists the possibility of lowering the district cost of education when the
A parent must be home to supervise their children - a particular problem where
2. The normal routines of parents can be severely interrupted, especially those with more than one child.
3. Some students must be monitored to assure they participate in online instruction.
4. Scheduling of synchronous lessons can be problematic for the teacher,
5. Each child will need a workspace free of distraction.
Online learning is expected to decline after the pandemic has abated. It may be reinstituted as needed under the following conditions:
When schools must be closed, such as inclement weather conditions.
Homebound instruction for students with health conditions and those under suspension.
As an option for students seeking to accelerate their learning via asynchronous online modules. Some may even graduate early. Ideally, these students will attend school part-time for certain minor subjects/activities like gym, music, and clubs.
The success of online instruction should not be judged by its performance during the pandemic. Failure may have been due to its rapid implementation. Another issue is student motivation. Those eager to achieve will probably succeed regardless of the mode of instructional delivery.
Note: Some students improved their achievement while learning online,(https://hechingerreport.org/remote-learning-has-been-a-disaster-for-many-students-but-some-kids-have-thrived/?)