Since the start of COVID, education has made a sudden shift from in-person to online learning. Teachers, parents, and students have found this to be a difficult change. However, everyone has been working hard to find ways to make online education work.
Teachers have also found other ways to work from their own homes during this time as well. Through their experiences, teachers, parents, and students have found a variety of advantages and disadvantages to online learning.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning
There are many advantages and disadvantages to online learning. A few are obviously positive or negative while some are dependent on individual circumstances.
Advantages of Online Learning
Teachers are knowledgeable in student learning styles and have been finding ways to accommodate these learning styles in the online classroom. Teachers have been using digital resources to accommodate these learning styles for a few years. Auditory learners can listen to podcasts. Visual learners can watch a video clip. Kinesthetic learners can be encouraged through interactive activities.
Online learning is often more accessible to students in a variety of ways. Many families have access to the internet, whether in their home or a nearby restaurant or library. If families do not have a computer, other devices can be used as well. Many schools already had devices for all students and continued using these while learning from home.
For school districts, online learning can be more affordable. When online, school districts no longer have to pay for textbooks and teacher supplies, as everything is online. They also do not have to pay for school lunches or busses and many are paying less on the building costs, such as electricity since there are fewer areas in use.
Disadvantages of Online Learning
A major disadvantage of online learning is the use of screens. Some students may have difficulty focusing while using screens. Young children are often distracted by things around them, while older students may be distracted by other activities on their devices. Many parents also choose to limit their children’s screen time, which becomes problematic when their school day has been moved online.
With everything becoming virtual, students miss out on direct interaction with their peers. This can lead to extreme loneliness. Students (and their parents) have to put in extra effort to connect with one another outside of class.
Even with the improvements made throughout the years, technology can still be unpredictable and unreliable. Many businesses, individuals, and even schools encounter some sort of technology-related issue daily. Businesses and schools often have an IT team to quickly help fix their problems. However, individuals at home have a much more difficult time getting this assistance as quickly as they may need.
Online Jobs for Teachers
In the last few years, there has been a rise in online jobs available to teachers, some of which do not even require a teaching license or degree. Online tutoring jobs are extremely popular and have vast opportunities from English language learning with foreign students to any subject with American students. Teachers can also create their own classes on educational or fun subjects with other platforms.
Tutoring Foreign Students
Many teachers have looked into tutoring English Language Learners (ELLs) from outside the United States. This job has been popular because the times are outside of school hours and use pre-made curriculums. There are a variety of platforms teachers can use to tutor foreign ELLs, including VIPKid, LiveXP
, and Cambly. Many of these companies are servicing all countries, which will bring more students to these platforms and more hours for tutors to work!
Tutoring American Students
Teachers who do not want to teach English can find sites where they can tutor in other subjects as well. Most US-based tutoring services offer programs in all subjects with students of all ages. Some websites looking for tutoring professionals include BrilliantGrades and VarsityTutors. These sites have various requirements for tutors, some requiring degrees and licenses, while others may require proof of knowledge in the subject teachers choose.
Teaching your own Classes
Finally, teachers can create their own classes to teach children around the world. The main platform for this is currently Outschool. Teachers create and market their lessons, and can teach what they want when they want. They can also choose to teach large groups, small groups, or even one-on-one.
Teachers, schools, and even businesses have been working hard to make this switch to online education work for everyone. Businesses have switched to a virtual workplace, allowing more parents to be home with their children. Some have even created new resources for teachers and students navigating this shift in education to attempt to make it as smooth as possible. With everyone working together to make this change, the advantages will hopefully outweigh the disadvantages to make this the best experience for all involved.