Reshaping Education Part II: Disadvantages of Remote Learning

In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the use of technology and its application in education. Education has changed greatly. with distinctive development in e-learning, teaching is now being conducted digitally and on online platforms.

Applications and tools to keep students engaged vary from language apps, better simulation models, and virtual manipulatives. Added to these are the video conferencing tools, learning software, multi-media projects, and a lot more.

Technology helps teachers go beyond the usual text-based learning and keeps students well-engaged in the lessons. It offers versatile learning tools for teachers to better conduct and demonstrate concepts and assess students’ progress.

Undeniably, advancements in technology have proven their potential for improving education.

Moreover, the sudden shift from traditional classroom learning to remote learning in many parts of the globe will have a major impact on the global education market. This is especially if this shift in learning continues in the years to come.

However, there seem to be insurmountable challenges to overcome, despite the potential in online education. The rising concerns and disadvantages cannot be ignored regarding the sudden shift in remote learning.

Some schools have already started going online. Meanwhile, others will start their online learning journey in the coming months. Unfortunately, the doubts as to the readiness and efficiency of this approach are high.

Disadvantages of Remote Learning (Synchronous/Real-Time Learning)

  • Technical problems, but this does not only pertain to the stability of internet connection (WiFi or Mobile Data) at home. Online communication like speakers, headset, laptop, or computer, and others can also have technical issues.
  • Due to technical issues, there will be problems in conducting the lesson. The internet connection may not be available all the time, it may get laggy or not work properly.
  • Students who find difficulty connecting during scheduled class hours struggle to cope with the lessons. In this case, the digital gap is evident.

As for statistics, for instance, 95% of students in Switzerland, Norway, and Austria have computers to use for their schoolwork. Sadly, only 34% in Indonesia do, according to OECD data.

  • Remote learning, especially for younger kids may be very difficult. Generally, a structured environment is required to teach small kids. This is because their listening span is very short, thus they get distracted easily.
  • Remote learning may be a “solo act.” It may not be comfortable for some children. There are children who cannot actively participate in online discussions. On the other hand, some students may need personal contact to successfully grasp the lesson.
  • Remote learning cannot replace human connection. Even if there is real-time discussion or collaboration between teachers and students, it still doesn’t feel real.
  • Too much time spent in front of computer screens, tablets, and cellphones is harmful to one’s health.

It may cause eye strain, poor vision, and other eye defects. Likewise, posture and other physical problems may result in too screen-time.

  • The risk of learners not paying attention during an online discussion can happen. This is common when students lack self-discipline, self- control, and motivation.
  • Prepared lessons conducted through remote learning must keep the interest of students until the end. Teachers should be more versatile, creative, and adaptive to change.
  • If teachers are not familiar with online tools and devices, they may be overwhelmed or may distract the learners.
  • To create effective learning courses or lessons, it requires a lot of time. Also, it needs commitment, experience, skills, knowledge, and a true passion for learning. If a teacher has this, then it is not a problem. What if not?
  • In reality, all these cannot be done overnight. The sudden shift and seemingly less planned solution may not outweigh the disadvantages of remote learning.
  • Some students may not do their schoolwork or projects personally. Even if they are told to do so, since they are at home, anyone can do it.
  • Assessing the progress of students is unreliable unless it is done during the scheduled remote learning hours.
  • Parents may have difficulty adjusting to remote learning. Not all parents are familiar with the use of online learning tools.
  • Remote learning can be very challenging for some institutions. This is true because there are schools that are not ready to use computers as a means of replacing the classroom setting.
  • The living environment of some students poses a problem during remote learning because of possible household and neighborhood distractions.

The list of disadvantages of remote learning can go on. The “what ifs” are endless, but as a call to action during these trying times, we know that reshaping education is imperative.

Knowing and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of remote learning can help determine and layout better future education plans.

It’s time to step up to the plate and get passionate about your work. Commit to making eLearning courses that don’t bore people to tears, but instead inspire and motivate them to learn a new skill, change a certain behavior, or improve their performance.” – Cammy Bean

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