Technology has been an integral part of our life. The Internet, smartphones, and television are indispensable parts of most of our lives. Hence it is difficult to avoid its interference in our daily activities. The impact of technology isn’t limited to entertainment. The education sector is widely affected by it too.
The advancement in technology has changed the perspective of children toward education. They are now more keen on learning new things from the Internet and rely primarily on them than traditional learning methods
The idea of education goes beyond books and can also be achieved through practical experiences outside the classroom. Students can now learn what they want and at a faster rate, thanks to technology.
Online education is the place where education and technology come together. It is the electronic mode of teaching and learning which enables the student to learn from anywhere. The form of online education varies from text, animation to streaming videos and images.
In order to prepare for this new environment of online education and to take advantage of its new opportunities, it is necessary to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of online learning. Let’s learn more about the positive and negative impact of online education on students.
Positive Impact of Online Education on Students
Increased comfort for students
Attending physical classes requires the student to be ready early, carry lots of books, travel and much more. This might seem simple, but when you sum it all up, it consumes lots of energy and makes the student feel tired once they are back home.
Whereas, Online education allows students to learn from anywhere at any time. They can study from any part of the world with just a personal computer and a good internet connection. This can save lots of time and energy for students and keep them energetic.
Furthermore, students with physical challenges have more freedom while participating in class in an online format. It also helps the student avoid physical punishment and harassment, making them stress-free and comfortable while learning.
Another advantage of online learning is its time efficiency. It allows students to attend classes whenever they are available and at any time. They can access their courses at any time. They can attend online classes while working, spending time with family, friends, significant others, or doing anything else they like.
Similarly, it is not necessary to attend online education at any standard curriculum pace. Apart from that, you can access the lectures, notes, or any resources at any time. You can increase/decrease the pace of the course or repeat the same course as many times you want.
This flexibility in learning allows the student to grasp the thing at their own pace and helps them to understand the course.
Social pressures from teachers and other students are a massive part of how students live their school lives. Since students can attend online education at any place and time, they can be free from distractions and focus on their studies.
While taking part in online education, each student brings their own unique perspective and knowledge to the table. It allows the student to customize their own learning experience and talk about topics specific to them.
Online education encourages student participation in discussion on course materials and helps them to understand the topic easily. Apart from that, online learning also offers students direct contact with the teacher via message, email, etc., to avoid harassment from classmates
Bullying and discrimination are quite common in school, which shouldn’t be. Both the government and school authorities are doing much to eliminate discrimination and bullying at school. But the fact is they do exist and are a reason for many students to avoid school.
Online learning somewhat helps the student to avoid such situations at school. Students have a certain degree of anonymity within an online environment. Discrimination and bullying are largely absent in online learning environments.
Instead, online education is more focused on the course material and discussion and knowledge sharing. This helps greatly to the student who has been a victim of physical harassment and bullying.
Easy access to resources
Online education allows the student to access all the course material at any time. With an online course, guests from other institutions or distinguished guest experts are easy to include. Moreover, today’s students have access to computer resources and resources in several countries around the world.
An online resource section with links to resources relevant to the course can be created by instructors for students to use as a resource when studying course material, extending their learning, or analyzing it further.
Negative Impact of Online Education on Students
Lacks expert monitoring
Students have direct contact with a physical teacher during class. This allows the teacher to read students’ body language and find out if they understand what they teach in classes. Knowing the body language, the teacher can teach the student and make them understand in easy ways.
In contrast, online education offers little opportunity for direct interaction. Furthermore, no one will be able to understand you or keep track of your progress. Although a tutor may see you via video chat or audio call, it is still inferior to a personal tutor.
Students need to be interested in their studies. They won’t be able to complete their study with as many videos or books as they would wish. Online education works this way. The material will be available, but the students will have no real interest.
Increased vulnerability to online dangers
Students often spend more than six hours online a day for online classes and for entertainment. Consequently, they spend the majority of their day glued to screens without being monitored or guided. Many families have no filters to prevent inappropriate content from being broadcast on their networks, which can result in sensitive material being spread on the Internet.
As video conferencing has grown in popularity, malicious actors (including pedophiles) have tried to exploit its use. Children can become incited to participate in inappropriate sexual behavior if they are exposed to them.
The nature of online education means that most children have unrestricted access to the internet and the sheer abundance of pornographic content makes it increasingly likely that they’ll be exposed to it. Unless necessary measures are taken to block inappropriate content on children’s devices, it could eventually lead to negatively impacting their sexual development, mental health, attitudes, and beliefs.
Increase Social Isolation
Students are more likely to like their studies and raise their awareness if other students are around them. You might have noticed that when students are in a group at school, they are more alert.
In an online learning platform, students can attend classes from any place, decreasing participants’ interaction, reducing their contemplation, and making them more remote.
Thus, many students and teachers who have to spend so much time online can begin to feel socially isolated since they cannot interact with their peers. Lack of communication and social isolation often result in mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts.
Poor communication skills development
Student knowledge can be greatly enhanced by using online learning methods. On the other hand, online courses often neglect the development of communication skills among students. Students have no opportunity to communicate face-to-face with their peers, teachers, and classmates.
In online learning, students cannot communicate with their instructors face-to-face, which causes social isolation and may make them feel unfocused.
It is possible that students will not be able to work effectively in a team setting. If the students are not invested in their communication skills, they will inevitably graduate with excellent theoretical knowledge, but they will not instruct others.
The knowledge you obtained from your personal experience is more valuable than from reading books. And it is a known fact that online education lacks practical education because the source of online education is virtual presentation, animation, videos, images, etc.
But if students attend a class in school, then they will be able to use the instruments or any object to experiment. The practical touch helps students study more effectively, improves memory, and increases interest in the subject matter. Online education will not provide this.
E-books are available even in online education. However, there will be hard copies of books available at schools and colleges. And, hard-copy books create a better memory than standard e-books.
In school, students are taught the importance of discipline. It is important to set a daily schedule when attending school. In this way, they learn good habits like bathing, eating breakfast, and going to bed appropriately. Children can adopt discipline through physical education.
The traditional education system encourages students to concentrate and maintain discipline. But, to attend online classes, students just need to dress up in appropriate casual clothing. In this case, there is the possibility of not developing a habit of discipline.
Similarly, it is less likely that online students will be motivated by external forces to perform well. In many cases, students are left to pursue their own learning activities without constant guidance from teachers.
Online education offers both benefits and disadvantages, as with most other things in life. Although this trend is obvious to see, it will likely last long. Online education is the future of the education system as it brings many possibilities and opportunities to the education system.
Online education offers extra educational benefits for children who are already in school. As a result of technology, online education is increasingly likely to overtake offline education.
However for now, some students, especially those under graduation age, may require direct instruction and guidance from schools. Graduates can take online courses after graduation to further their education, such as in post-graduate education.
This balance in the offline and online education system helps to uplift our education system and makes this world a better place to live. Therefore, governments and online education providers need to formulate guidelines on how online education should be used without negatively impacting offline learning.