Online education or online classes for students has come out to be new normal during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic. The schools and universities had to enforce strict lockdown measures and shut classrooms to avoid the spread of the pandemic. The complete shutdown of the education institutions caused a major interruption in the academic year and brought a big gap in the learning for students. However, most of the schools managed to organize online classes for students offering safe learning at their homes. But, now the biggest question comes out to be is that if online learning is really beneficial for students or it has any adverse effects on them.
Let us check out some major merits and demerits of the online classes for students:
1. Keeps students regular and disciplined
A virtual classroom requires students to be present on time and join the class with an attentive mind. It has helped in recreating a routine for them so that they have a particular target for each day and they do not waste time doing unimportant activities. They get homework and assignments that help in keeping the students committed and disciplined towards their studies. In this way, the online classes ensure that the students continue to learn despite the schools shutting down
2. Easily accessible from any place
Another major advantage of online learning is that it allows students to attend classes from any location of their choice. They only need a good internet connection a computer, laptop or a smartphone to attend the class. Students are now free from the daily hassles of commuting to school. Now, they just need to open their devices and sign in at the scheduled time to join the class. This has also improved the attendance of students.
3. Cost of education is reduced
This can be seen as a very important advantage in this period when the pandemic has already hit the budget of many families. Online classes have lowered down the huge amount of money for both the schools and students. Due to the schools being closed, the cost of their infrastructure and maintenance has decreased. This, in turn, has caused a drop in the school fees of students making education more economic for them. Online learning has also eliminated the cost of transportation.
4. Students can keep away from distractions
There are many students who are solo learners and get distracted by large groups in the classroom. There may be some notorious students in the classroom who might prevent you to focus on what the teacher has been teaching in the class. Whereas in online classes there is no such problem. Each and every student has a direct interaction with the teacher that helps in quick learning.
5. Saves students from exposure to infections
In virtual classes, students do not have to go to school and come in contact with others. This saves them from receiving any type of infections from others that helps in keeping their immune system strong. Moreover, being at home gives them a chance to eat fresh and healthy foods all day that is much required for boosting their immune system to fight any symptoms of Covid.
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1. Screen exposure may cause health issues among students
During online classes, students have to sit before the screens of their devices for long periods of time. The classes may take 4-5 hours that can be quite tiring for students. Some students may suffer from eyesight issues. Long exposure to screens may also induce headache in many students. Sometimes students can also develop bad posture and other physical problems due to leaning towards their screens.
2. Students struggle to focus on the screen
For taking online classes, one's device must be connected to the internet. This makes various social media and other sites easily accessible that comes to be the biggest distraction for students. Thus, while listening to the online lectures for long hours, the biggest challenge for students is to stay focused. Such situations can be avoided by being an active learner and keeping up the meaningful and relevant conversation with the teacher.
3. Network breakdown and other technology issues
This perhaps is the most common and the biggest disadvantage of online learning. Though the countries have worked far better for developing a good internet system, a consistent connection with decent speed is still a problem in many smaller cities and villages. Breakdown of internet connection or poor range of internet can break the continuity in learning for the child. This may discourage students from attending classes regularly and learning their curriculum.
4. Lack of social interaction
When in school, students get to learn a lot from their peers. While being with friends, they learn to be patient, get rid of disappointment and compete as well. There are many students who are habitual of enhancing their learning by participating in group studies and lively group discussions. However, in an online class, there is minimum or no physical interactions between students and teachers. This may result in a sense of isolation for the students that can affect their studies quite badly.
5. Increased the responsibility of parents
Online education has increased the responsibility of the parents of students as they are required to observe their kids more closely what was earlier done by the teachers in the class. They have to keep an eye on their kids to check if they are being attentive in the virtual class and are not wasting time in other activities. Due to this extra role of the invigilator, many parents are feeling tiresome in handling their own work and their kids' classes at the same time.
Online classes being the need of the hour, should be seen as a compliment and a good way of learning during the pandemic. However, traditional classroom studies has been and would always be the best mode of learning that not only helps students grow mentally but socially as well. But at this time, students should focus on online studies and chalk out strategies to do best in their academics keeping aside all the odds and difficulties.
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