Distance learning has actually been around for a long time. The Australian government has one of the best-known rural distance education plans in the world because many students live in isolated areas far from major cities.
Governments and school districts around the world have now been facing the challenges of distance learning at a mass scale for the first time in their lives. One teacher explained why online education is going to be a challenge for so many.
The teacher said:
“Unpopular opinion: we should not be transitioning in-school learning to at-home learning during this time. Distance learning is one model of instruction — one that works for some students, for some families, for some teachers. But it does not work for everyone. And suddenly expecting it to work for everyone shows the extreme privilege of those making the decisions to expect all learning continue at home.”
She also highlighted a few more reasons why distance or online learning would be difficult.
3. Online Learning Isn’t Always Accessible
Some parents don’t have jobs they can do from home and may not be technologically savvy enough to help their children.
In addition, not everyone has internet access at home, or devices they can use to take their classes.
2. Children Aren’t Ready to Take Charge of Their Education
Many schools are providing packets for students without wifi access or computers, but not every child can teach themselves the material in these worksheets.
Plus, children are now dealing with completely different routines, responsibilities, and expectations.
1. Teachers May Also Have Disabilities
These can make it more challenging for them to give these classes in the first place.
Some suggestions the teacher made was that school districts should be more flexible about their expectations. It may even be best to avoid tests and homework right now, to help children adjust to their new normal.
Online education is definitely a challenge for those who are at an economic disadvantage, for people with certain disabilities, and for those who find it hard to learn in that type of environment. Are there any other suggestions you think could help students, teachers, and parents make adjustments?