2020 will go down as perhaps one of the worst years in recent memory. Not only did millions around the world lose the battle to COVID, but others also faced immense financial, emotional, and medical setbacks. The worst part is, it’s far from over. Sure the vaccination campaigns are working wonderfully, and millions have gotten their doses, but it’s still not enough.
With the pandemic still looming like a sword over our heads, one wonders what the fate of education looks like in the coming years. Online education has its pros and cons. Ask any student, and they will be willing to engage you in a conversation about why it’s either a blessing or a burden.
This article will be looking at some of the factors that make education either a blessing or a curse. By the end of it, you should be able to formulate your opinions and determine your views on the topic.
1) People Are Branching Out Without Logistical Constraints
A significant benefit of online education is that people are now willing to take risks and branch out. Distance, time constraints, curriculum, etc., were major inhibitors for people who were considering different degrees. People had to leave their desired options and choose the next convenient option, which is a tragedy in its own right because bright-eyed students didn’t get the chance to explore their talents and study what they truly wanted to.
Online education removes the logistical issues and places a diverse range of degrees before you. You don’t have to worry about travel distance/costs, course content, or timings because, with remote learning, all these factors are considerably more manageable. The sheer number of students enrolling in their preferred programs, for example, an online bachelors degree in history, is proof that the remote learning system is giving students control over their interests. With more people pursuing what they truly love, the chance for them to become better functioning professionals in their respective fields increases.
2) Working Alongside Education Is Easier Than Ever
A fair number of professionals had to miss out on college because they had to work and earn a living. Not only does this take away the chance for people to pursue their dreams, but it also means that their future development is limited because they lack a college degree. Remote learning has given working people the chance to study from the comfort of their homes after work. After a long day’s work, no one wants to attend night school and go through a nighttime college experience. Remote learning gives you the chance to learn at your own pace in your environment.
This way, professionals can continue with their work and get their degrees with the greatest ease, thus giving control back to the working person to develop their expertise and grow in their field.
3) Students Have A Hard Time Understanding
When it comes to online education, students have reported a lack of understanding compared to when they were attending physical classes. The detachment from real life creates a strange sensation for students and can impair the learning process. Not only that, but not being able to read someone’s facial features or understand their body language in real-time can affect the learning process.
Moreover, seemingly minor issues such as unmuting the mic too late to clear a misconception can take their toll on the learning process. Imagine you have an issue, but your mouse glitches when you are trying to unmute yourself. Now, the teacher has moved forward, and you don’t understand what’s going on. These basic problems may seem mundane and trivial but can greatly impact the learning process if not addressed effectively. Learning is a complicated process with a variety of influential factors. If any one of those factors falters, there could be a major breakdown in understanding.
4) Connectivity Issues, Technical Difficulties, And Lack Of Privacy
Remote learning depends on unfaltering internet supply, which does not cut in and out. In some parts of the world, this may not be a significant issue, but in developing countries where technical infrastructure is sub-par, learning online becomes impossible. Moreover, with technical issues relating to your devices, the same problem arises, and attending class becomes somewhat of a chore.
Furthermore, in smaller/populated houses where extended families live together, finding a private/quiet place to study becomes a task. Imagine trying to attend class with people all around you, children screaming, and the TV volume turned so loud that you can’t hear the lecture. Technical and household issues prove to be a major challenge in marginalized socio-economic households. For those living below the poverty line, online education appears to be just as hard as conventional education, hence why students from poorer backgrounds avoid both.
5) Assignments And Deadlines
One of the most prevalent features of the online education system is the reduction in exam-based questioning and increased assignments. For some students, this is great news, while for others, it’s a nightmare. Students benefit and learn better if they are working on written assignments. Scanning data and finding sources teaches students about the topic they are covering and helps them understand better.
However, for others, the piling deadlines can be hard to handle sometimes. For students who work alongside, meeting deadlines and attending work can cause massive amounts of stress. As if the deadlines weren’t enough, said stress impairs the student to function at their full potential; thus, we see a vicious cycle. Assignments are a double-edged sword. They can be great for some and a burden for others. It depends on the student how they handle the work and makes the best of the situation.
Blessing or Burden?
We have talked about several factors relating to online education, and by this point, you should have a clear idea of the pros and cons. From logical issues to pursuing your dreams, it depends on whether you want to see the dark cloud or silver lining. Make your decision, take charge of your education and make the most out of your career. Just don’t weigh the options for too long and miss out on opportunities that could have changed your life.