Education Technology


Pros and Cons of the Online Classroom

By Merissa Moore
December 22, 2021

The transition from in-person to remote leaching two years ago has highlighted the fallacies of both new and old education models. As students were forced to stay at home and tune in to their Zoom classes, teachers struggled to keep them engaged and motivated with their work. Though online learning has been a great tool to manage the loss of school time during the pandemic, it cannot accommodate all the problems in education.

The Growth in Online Tools

EdTech companies and start-ups around the world have grown dramatically since the beginning of COVID. BJUY’S, the world’s largest EdTech unicorn, has recently launched its Innovation Hub and continues to expand across all learning sectors.  According to the World Economic Forum, Chinese university, Zhejiang University, launched over 5000 courses online to its students just two weeks into remote teaching with ZJU DingTalk, and Imperial College London’s course on the science of the coronavirus is now the most enrolled course of 2020 on Coursera. While there is a threat of learning loss for today’s students due to COVID-19, this era could also be an opportunity to use technology to the fullest in education.

Accessibility and Logistics: Solved

Online learning is accessible and caters to all types of students with access to a computer and internet connection. Students do not need to worry about commuting or sticking to local schools in their area. Many students experience changes in their school habits without realizing it. No constant supervision and waking up half an hour before classes start is a dream come true for many.

The pandemic has shown that the old whiteboard and paper notebook approach needs to be changed to accommodate new media and distant learning needs.

What Students Have Gained, and What they Lost

Testing Issues – To prevent students from cheating, teachers have relied on setting unique questions related to a number of fields and having students take in a whole module of information to write up an essay. Modular learning can be made easier through online tools,  students are now employing the use of digital writing platforms for essay writing help online to aid them with their workload. These services employ professionals and ensure that the quality of work done is impeccable.

There is no lesson plan good enough or internet connection fast enough to compensate for issues in the family, or a loud environment. Online tools can also exist as a support bubble for students who need more help to deal with the environment their in, whether it be with social-emotional learning (SEL) or an online research paper writer.

Shorter Attention Span – With online learning, childrens’ screen time has skyrocketed. A part of this change is necessary, as the classes are carried out over ZOOM, demanding a laptop or a PC. However, unstable internet connection, the ease of hiding what you’re looking at, and the sheer freedom of one’s own home mean that students also spend time on their phone and their tablets along with the regular classes. This causes a shorter attention span and less attention to the classes overall.

Final Remarks

While it may be true that online learning has ushered in a new era and that online courses abound, it is also true that the digital learning era does not come without problems.  Some of these can be solved easily within a year or two, but some of the problems, especially relating to students’ habits, are difficult to crack.

Featured Image: Julia M Cameron, Pexels.