By Benson Liu
As many people already know (and experienced) the spread of a global pandemic has led to the delay of returning to schools and forced us to look for other options to maintain school learning. Right now, the answer the school district has provided is online learning. But, how long can this last? And what really is so different about it?
Online learning has caused a huge boom in terms of online applications (apps for short). Many apps like Zoom and Google Classroom have seen their user base skyrocket. This is due to the fact that we all need online apps right now. No one can deny it. Although the pandemic seems to be lifting, school officials still aren’t sure if they should send students back to school. The earliest possible date would be January. In the meantime, teachers and students will need to adjust to their new schedules
Online learning has also created a host of new problems. Even though the physical contact rule is now gone, other problems have arisen. Users of some of these applications can now choose to be anonymous, a factor that will make it difficult, if not literally impossible, for teachers to track down bullying and misfit. Bullies now have new toys to play with, ones teachers aren’t familiar with. Even if they do track troublemakers down, the best they could do would be to only call home. In a remote environment, a teacher has almost idea of what the student is doing on the other side. Even if they did, they would have no way to stop them as most student’s assets are at home. Even though some apps have restrictions, they may not be enough to stop misbehavior.
Many parents are worried about the quality of their children’s education. And they wouldn’t be wrong to worry so. Students can easily get distracted while attending a meeting. They can open tabs that their parents aren’t aware of. They could also be playing video games or watching videos that the teacher didn’t know about. All we can do now is hope. Hope for the pandemic to be over. And hope for school to open again.
Google Classroom? Yep. Now all of your homework and classwork will be graded virtually. This (finally!) has some benefits. The teachers can track almost every piece of assignment online which gives an advantage over traditional grading. Students may be able to lie with in-person learning, but when every assignment is documented? No, there will be no lying or tricks at all as the teacher can view all the dates assignments were turned in and will be able to see every single word and letter their student has typed down. Students can also say goodbye to excuses as there is no way your brother tore up your homework because all of your homework is online.
You may have seen and used many features on Zoom or Google Classroom. They are an advantage over traditional learning. Ever felt like your hand was about to turn into jelly when you were raising your hand? Well, some meeting apps have the raise hand feature so you don’t need to tire your hand out. Want to speak with the teacher but don’t want others to hear you speaking? Well, most apps let you speak privately with other participants. If you want to turn in homework earlier so you can stop thinking about it, you can almost always turn things in early without having to be at your teacher's desk. Teachers also benefit from this. Ever have to raise your voice to tell students to stop interrupting? Well you can mute students and only allow them to speak when you want them. Teacher’s can also pin student’s videos to look very closely at what they are doing. Saves them from having to check the student’s desk and making a big commotion in front of the class and yelling at the students. All they have to do is type privately in the chat for the student to meet them later in a private meeting. This last feature helps students concentrate. Breakout rooms are exclusive to Zoom users and allow participants to go in a private room. This is better than the traditional learning’s equivalent, small groups, because students in breakout rooms don’t hear the noise coming from other groups.
Conclusion For Online Learning
Now that you have a good understanding of what is going on here, it’s time to compare it to in-person learning. You might be just surprised at how many flaws in-person learning has as well. There are quite a few… and I am going to reveal them to them to you. Read on. I’ll meet you in the next paragraph. Race you there! :)
Quite a few things are different about in-person learning (or traditional learning if you want to call it that). First of all, students have to actually attend school instead of just attending a meeting. That means driving to school, which makes students who attend school wake up earlier. Also, it means that they can go outside which we cannot do right now. That is its main difference.
Many problems are present that aren’t present in online learning. One of those problems is physical contact. You can’t really touch someone if you are learning online, but bullying by physical contact is common in schools. Sometimes, in some rare cases, students have been beat up. Teachers can penalize students for breaking school laws but they can not reverse what has been done, like being blinded, deaf, or damaging a vital organ. This is why some kids at school need special treatment. Another problem that is very common and is not present in online learning is cheating, or bribing someone to help you cheat. In most cases, the motivation that bullies give to other peers is in the form of threats. But sometimes, a student may try to “buy” another student’s homework in the form of currency. Either way, the person who cheats does not learn anything, and worst yet, may even be prevented from pursuing university education and future careers from it. Both of these problems can cause marks on your school record, which may stop you from doing the job that you want. So although it may seem like it, online learning isn’t the only thing with flaws.
What is the quality of traditional education? Well, you might be tempted to say, “It’s better than online schooling, that’s all I need to know.” Now, hold your horses, it’s not that simple. It does offer some advantages, I have admit, but from pure experience, it also has several disadvantages over online learning. If you reread paragraph 4 in the section: Online learning, you would have noticed that it’s better to grade homework online rather than by hand. And that is not the only disadvantage. Teachers can receive more better and frequent breaks between classes as they are at home and their home probably has things that fit them better (like comfy chairs and coffee) whereas teachers usually have to take a walk to the teacher’s lounge which will shorten their already short break. That means the teacher will be less focused at school than at home which also lowers the quality of education. Another downside is that you have to run from class to class, often wasting a lot of energy whereas in online learning, you simply just open another meeting, which saves energy that can be used for learning. In my opinion, I also feel like a teacher has a harder time managing a class IRL than online. Now you can see why there is no definite answer to the question of the quality of education.
Ever felt super annoyed that your teacher graded a question wrong? Me, too. It can be frustrating at times. It’s one of the major differences and major advantages that online learning has over traditional learning. Almost all the time, your work in traditional learning is in the form of paperwork, which means that it has to be graded by hand. And teachers are humans, and humans make mistakes (unlike machines). That’s why you sometimes get that annoyingly wrong-graded test back. Traditional learning loses to online learning at almost every point in the category of grading. The grading is slower, and more tedious. Teachers often have to pour over every problem checking for mistakes while computers can grade almost instantly. Traditional definitely has a poorer grading rate than online learning.
Conclusion for Traditional Learning
Overall, traditional learning is more real, and a little bit harsher than online learning. You have learned about its traits both good and bad. You have learned about problems, quality, and grading. Now you have enough information to form your own opinion about traditional learning.
It’s time to close up shop. You have a lot of information about both of these types of learning. You know the differences between them. Hopefully, the pandemic will end and we will be able to return to traditional learning. I hope this will aid you in the future. Farewell, readers. Read on!
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