While the new year is often associated with fresh starts and new beginnings, it brought neither for education networks in 2021. For students across the globe, not much has changed. With many schools remaining closed, students of all ages have had to resume remote learning for the foreseeable future.
Remote learning has been a difficult transition for many families and education stakeholders. But it has not been all bad. This article will highlight the benefits of remote learning that many students and parents are taking advantage of.
It’s true that certain mental health problems have been exacerbated by the pandemic, but that is not the whole story. There may be a few perks for students who never enjoyed the school learning environment. A study conducted by the University of Bristol found that, when lock down started, rates of anxiety fell for both girls and boys aged 13 and 14.
It’s easy to forget about the stresses that can accompany the average school day. With the majority of students studying remotely, the pressure to fit in, outdo, and outshine their peers fades more readily to the background.
School may be all fun and games for the popular kids but what about shy or introverted children who complete their work best in the peace of their own company? This time away from the classroom, locker room, and the school bus has served as a welcome break for those who typically find such situations trigger their social anxiety.
Improved Emotional Awareness
Online Zoom lessons have encouraged a more attentive type of teaching. Many teachers have turned more attention to their students’ wellbeing during Covid-19. They have been forced by the circumstances to be more aware of the indicators of a struggling pupil.
With Covid-19 being a catalyst for the deterioration of many people’s mental health, schools and teachers have increased their awareness for their student’s emotional well-being whilst learning from home. As a result, students will have developed their social-emotional learning skills as a result.
SEL, or social-emotional learning, has more benefits than you would expect. It factors into a student’s ability to form and maintain healthy relationships with others, work collaboratively to solve problems, and regulate emotions and behavior. Children with strong SEL skills often perform better in school and feel a better sense of connection to their peers and teachers.
The social-emotional aspect now incorporated into class time is definitely one of the more positive outcomes of the pandemic.
Our technological capabilities have allowed education systems to continue during event that would otherwise all but grind learning to a halt. With established edtech resources, online classrooms such as Zoom and file sharing capabilities, most students have had access to a wealth of learning resources and study materials. For those with a solid internet connection and a decent laptop or tablet, learning has been made more interactive and engaging. On the other side of the coin, the digital divide has created a heightened division in society. Many states are currently working to shrink or close this gap.
In particular, the use of educational games and apps has seen a significant rise in popularity as a result of at home learning. For students who find the average school day mundane, these new ways of learning and approaching education could mean a much-needed spark of motivation to engage with their studies. Students are now making their own study groups, sharing teaching resources, conducting independent research and replicating lessons for their peers in ways that may not have happened pre-Covid.
With the huge variety of educational tools and advanced technologies available, remote learners and those being homeschooled can keep their studies on track whilst exploring alternative ways of learning. And perhaps most importantly, teachers are still able to monitor their students’ progress on homework assignments and award grades according to their work virtually despite the lack of in-person contact.
Parents Are Getting More Involved in their Kids’ Education
Having school-age kids at home has been one of the biggest struggles for professionals during Covid-19. They have been asked to take on a greater role in facilitating their kids’ learning. One survey has found that, despite the difficulty involved, many parents have enjoyed taking on this task.
Many have also enlisted the help of tutors during the pandemic. Learning with an experienced homeschooling tutor or specific subject tutor is the best way to expand knowledge of a subject. Students are able to hone the development of communication, logic and reasoning skills.
Many colleges have also begun offering their students tutoring for free. There has been a strong surge in the use of tutoring platforms like Tutor House as a result of moving classes online. Parents who are unable to cater to the needs of their child (and who can afford private tuition) have given their child the best educational boost possible as a result.
Remote learning hasn’t been all bad. Schools, parents, teachers and students have adapted and continue to adapt in the best way possible to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic. As things eventually return to normal, hopefully some of the teaching methods, techniques, and sensitivity lent during this period will be integrated into the school syllabus post-Covid.
Featured Image: Beci Harmony, Unsplash.