Distance Learning Pros and Cons

Due+to+COVID-19+schools+have+been+closed+indefinitely+and+resorted+to+distance+learning.+

Photo Credit: Photo via Getty Images/iStockphoto under the Creative Common License.

Due to COVID-19 schools have been closed indefinitely and resorted to distance learning.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread throughout our community and nation within weeks. Due to these unfortunate circumstances, all public schools have resorted to online school or distance learning. After a couple of weeks, it is clear that there are pros and cons of distance learning.

Pros of Distance Learning 

Since distance learning does not require the students to physically be in the classroom, students are free to set their own schedules.  Distance education provides students free-range of their time and can do their classwork/homework at their own pace. Some schools have students sign into Zoom or Google Meet to do achieve a more interactive class. In that case, the student would have to accommodate their schedule for that class. Other things such as tests have a time-stamp, therefore, most teachers give their students an hour or so to complete their tests. However, besides those specific circumstances, all work is assigned during that class time and the student can do it at their free will within the means of the due date.

Students also excel when it comes to comprehending the information. By given the notes and other resources provided by the teacher, the student can find a way that works for them. Normally the student has to follow the teacher’s strategy and understand it, however, this free-range gives student’s the opportunity to learn the way he wants to do.

Professional point of view

In 1996, Deborah J. Stipek’s experiments different ways to teachers can motivate students to learn through technology. “She recommends providing diverse opportunities for exploration and experimentation, so it can increase the chance that students enjoy the learning process.” Therefore if teachers think of ways where students feel they have a sort of freedom however still learning the content can help motivate students and improve their performance.

Student point of view

Sophomore, Shikha Patel states, “I think distance learning allows students to have a clearer mind and allows them to focus better on their school which allows them to increase their grades.” Patel thinks that online school relieves stress with which increases students’ grades.

This online learning can also help those who are less tech-savvy. Since technology is ever-evolving in our society, it is crucial for students to know how to mauver and work computers. Though the circumstances are not ideal, students can use this time as a positive and enhance their computer skills.

Cons of Distance Learning

Despite these positives, there are quite a few negatives of distance learning. For example, credibility is a major problem. How are teachers going to know that their students aren’t sharing answers or using the internet as a resource? Especially when a teacher assigns a test, students can have a separate device where they are searching up answers and communicating with their fellow classmates.

Due to being in quarantine, students lack interaction with their teachers and classmates. This affects their learning that would be eliminated if they were in a classroom. Class discussions and in-class projects cannot be achieved while online. Communicating with their teachers is also a huge issue. Students have to ask their questions via Google Classroom or email. There is also no guarantee that their teacher will see the message or get back to them in a timely manner.

Teacher Galindo that was interviewed for the EdSource article states; “’ Going to school is a way of life,’ he said. ‘They go to school, they learn, they have fun and we build relationships with each other … and then it’s gone,’ he said.” This teacher believes that not being in a regular functioning school is affecting his students’ learning process.

Over-dependence on technology can be a major drawback in distance learning education. Any malfunctioning computers can lead to an ongoing road of disaster. Without the ability to obtain the work, the student can not learn and there is nothing the school can do to fix it. This situation can add up to absences, zeros in the grade book, and stress on the student.

Conclusion

As one can see there are many positives but just as many negatives to distance learning. In my opinion, I think distance learning is very beneficial because I can do my work at my free will. It also relieves the stress that I usually have during school. Therefore, after a couple of weeks, it is clear that there are pros and cons of distance learning and students and teachers have different opinions on the subject.