Learning from home is one of the best ways for students to make the most of activities and resources at their disposal.
Nevertheless, it goes further than just all ages having fun online or doing a reading activity.
Technological advancement has year after year trickled into educational support and materials and even into the national curriculum, with teaching at primary and secondary levels obviously being top of the chart when it comes to daily learning online.
School and university have both equally been affected, going from learning ABCs and animals through to advanced grade and high-level science and art, by the elephant in the room - covid.
It might be a dirty word, but we will see the benefits in the coming years and what impact online education will have.
The kind of progress we have already made in two years regarding how we use online resources and engage with learning activities from home has forced us to reassess our daily learning, as well as teachers being able to grade work and impart primary skills that are necessary for the interaction.
Schools and teachers of a lower level of students now have the burden of helping parents and children navigate the real world and find a fun way to make reading, science, math, English, and other basic skills fun and impart basic alphabet skills as well, all whilst having to spend lots of their own free time adapting the curriculum and learning how to deliver lessons.
It's also about educational support though, and not just games. Therefore, the variation in daily content and resource planning in each lesson since having to push so much learning online has meant that we've reassessed education, but also the role of learning from home and how to make sure kids can still distinguish the home space, online space, and learning space (not to mention the adults present - teachers and parents - and adult students who are affected by this).
Supeprof thought it was high time to consider what the pros are of online learning given that it will be a mainstay of education of any level or grade in the years to come.
Given that we already chart very highly on the blended online - in-person learning balance, we believe in taking a wide view of educational content and understand that the code around education will need to change year to year.
This article aims to support and give help to those who work in an educational setting as well as students to show that there is actually a lot that is worth savouring about online learning.
Read on to see that you can rely on many a resource and learning types, from learning to code to animal science to math methods to English literature.
Technology in our daily lives
There are those who lament that children would prefer to download a book than have a physical book in their hands, and they will never know how to write a letter because they do all their word processing in Microsoft word. But the internet and computers have made our life so technology-laden that this is not news.
At the end of the day, society will have the final word on this, but people will still read a physical book. What is wrong with children learning the alphabet, learning about animals, or playing a game or online activity with flashcards to memorise this new content?
Online learning combined with traditional education can be a very good thing. This is known as blended learning and almost every lesson of the Australian curriculum is required to have elements of this.
Those reading this article remember a class activity used to be complemented by a VCR or DVD player being wheeled into the classroom for students to watch and take notes on.
For more than 10 years, most students, children, teenagers, and adults alike have been expected to use their own devices to access any given (free or paying) resource that they need for class. Students of all ages are expected to be technologically savvy and this will only continue to be the case.
A Virtual Learning Environment is part and parcel of any school or university nowadays, with most using Moodle or Blackboard as their learning management service.
In fact, on top of this, many students also now have the perfect combination of online dexterity and access to information that they are finding new ways to learn and have fun in their own time whilst doing activities from home after school hours.
This phenomenon and desire for further education have led many learners to pursue MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) which are accessible to all and give specialised training in certain areas.
These are often hosted by a well-known university and have many benefits, including:
- reaching a wide learner base
- disseminating quality information to a wider audience
- the possibility of offering many subject areas
- ensuring the most up-to-date information
- less need to spread resources among several students in class
- less planning time for teachers adapting to multiple classes
- ease of extra credit for students in courses where breadth learning can be undertaken
- effective cost saving for schools and universities
Since covid, there have been many more people who have been enticed by this kind of learning, and have done so from home. Therefore, we can also assume that there is a renewed interest in lifelong learning since covid which online education and resources will be able to lend themselves well.
Let us now have a look level by level at what the benefits for schools and universities may stand to be.
Practical Realities Online Learning for Schools and Universities
There is the argument that there are fewer overheads for schools that operate entirely online, which is true but this shouldn't be seen as a defining benefit in itself. Moreover, this only really works for universities since the face-to-face element is crucial for schools, both for teachers to be able to grade well and understand student learning styles and for students to become well socialised.
Online learning does also require some extra training for the administrators and educators. This needs to be optimal to ensure a good learning experience and environment for students to complement in-person education, whether it be available at the time or not.
Now, these might sound like cons but we're just bringing your attention while reading to the way this will probably play out in reality. These do not detract in the slightest from the benefits, and simply need to be taken into account when keeping educational institutions on the cutting edge of development.
The Benefits of Teachers of Being Online Educators
Understandably, older learners may be reluctant to embrace new technology while younger learners are digital natives. This is precisely why blended learning, part online and part in-person, being the most effective way of addressing the mutual yet converse needs of these groups.
This lets teachers access many diverse resources and make lessons exciting and can let them be freer to plan a lesson in a way that creates independent learners than a restrictive curriculum would allow. Furthermore, teachers are also able to get further more quickly by not having to decipher the handwriting of students (although should still assign exercises to ensure they can write).
The actual assignment side of online teaching is probably one of the biggest wins for teaching staff, but bear in mind there are also cons of online tutoring to take into account to this.
We are advocates of online education though, not least of all for the environmental side saving all the paper!
The Plusses for Students of Online Classes
The change of pace can be a real game-changer for many. Not having to sit still in a classroom for extended periods can be one of the best ways of keeping young learners in particular interested.
For students more generally, learning in a familiar environment such as the home, via the internet, can be a rewarding experience since there is nothing unfamiliar about where this is taking place, and peer pressure and embarrassment can be reduced.
When it comes to flexibility for students of all levels, online learning is the go-to as well. Being able to revise immediately and access materials during and after class to consolidate as you please.
The benefits online learning brings are accepted and have been proven well also.
Bringing It All Together
Considering all online training and educational options overall, we can see that there are benefits.
There is unparalleled ease for instructors and it brings digital natives' learning into a realm they are comfortable with, and the digitally foreign into technology through pedagogical activities.
Time and space also take on different roles when education takes place on the computer and internet. Thus independent learning is easier to foster when blended learning takes a bigger role.
What About Digital Tutoring?
There is a standout benefit of tutoring in the digital realm: cost, linked to lower overheads once again.
Superprof goes even further with micro-tutoring, meaning that training goes minute by minute, and you can dictate exactly how much time you need to fill in your learning between classes. This fits particularly well given the new space-time reconsideration of blended learning.
Being able to learn at your own pace thanks to handy web-based applications and working out homework in your own way and time with a tutor are no doubt reasons why Australia is seeing a boom in online tutoring.
Find out why you need to use online tutoring here.
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