Ways the Switch to E-Learning Can Have a Positive Impact on Schools and Students
The Covid-19 pandemic forced schools and students into an e-learning model that many did not feel ready to embrace. E-learning was on the horizon but a complete move to remote learning was a shift that most schools were not equipped to make. Around the country, school districts, teachers, parents, and students did their best to embrace this new approach to teaching and learning. This move to learning from home was made easier by the fact that it is easy to get school supplies online along with almost anything else that is needed.
Many parents and teachers have concerns about what students lost in the transition and uncertainty of learning from home during the pandemic. It is true that the sudden shift to e-learning presented challenges, but it also came with some benefits. The year was not a complete loss for students academically. There are a number of ways that being forced to make e-learning work has and will continue to help both schools and students.
E-learning allows teachers to plan with more precision
Having e-learning as an option reduces some of the unknowns that teachers face during the year. For example, a couple of bad weather days can derail the timeline for a unit of study. Missing two or three days of instruction because of inclement weather can make teachers feel like they are perpetually trying to catch up. E-learning can eliminate these types of disruptions by allowing students to move back and forth seamlessly between learning in person and learning online.
E-learning exposes students to future ready skills
Technology for higher education and the workplace
Technology is here to stay. It is used in higher education and the workplace. Students need to be proficient with technology in order to thrive in the environments they will encounter after finishing secondary education. The switch to e-learning provided students with a preview of what they will encounter in higher education and possibly in the workplace. Becoming proficient with various types of technology provides students with important skills for the future.
Soft skills that are essential for success
The switch to e-learning gave students the opportunity to develop other important skills that they will need throughout life. Without the classroom environment, students had to practice more self-discipline in order to get their work completed. They did not have teachers dictating every aspect of their schedule or a tardy bell to keep them on track. The shift to e-learning allowed students to develop soft skills such as problem-solving, time management, decision making, and adaptability that will be essential when they move on to higher education and eventually enter the workforce.
E-learning helps provide equity of access to all students
Teachers and administration work tirelessly to try and provide equity of access to all students. Programs like online school supply kits are one way that more and more schools are working toward complete equity of access. E-learning can also help districts move toward that goal. E-learning makes it possible for students with varying needs to gain access to the instruction and resources they need. For example, smaller districts may not have the same resources for gifted students as larger school districts. An e-learning model allows the districts to share resources to ensure that all students have access to what they need – no matter where they live.
The switch to e-learning was a challenge for schools, teachers, parents, and students. There were a lot of unknowns that came with making the switch from in-person instruction to online learning. Despite the difficulties, there are some elements of switching to e-learning that will have a positive impact on schools and students for the future. Identifying the positive aspects of remote learning can help everyone make the shift from thinking of the last year as being lost to seeing it as a unique opportunity to prepare for the future