The Real Downside to Online Teaching

There are many advantages to online learning but the disadvantages sometimes outweigh it. Teaching adults online has its own drawbacks but teaching kids and teens, is a whole other story. One of the teachers in our team recently stated that “online teaching requires far more personality than physical in-class teaching. To keep students engaged for more than 15 minutes is a task. It drains you so much more.”

We have seen many schools touting their online systems and boasting how well their students and teachers are adapting to the online platforms and how much they are enjoying the classes. But the reality is somewhat different, for both students and teachers.

First of all, not being able to use body language which sometimes is a huge help in conveying information, you end up having to explain concepts several times over. And if you’re meant to stick the curriculum and pacing charts set by the school, you very often lag behind and then have to catch up in the next session. Another problem that seems to be grating on many teachers is that they can’t reprimand students as they would in the classroom, so if the student doesn’t want to pay attention, he or indeed she is simply not going to. Half the time they could be watching movies, while pretending to be listening to the teacher.

Of course, we have to see it from the student’s perspective too. If they’re typically the kind of student who’s not very attentive when in class, chances are they’re not going to be online either. But even for those students who do try, it simply cannot be sustained long term. A student, who turned out to be a A- student, recently posted on social media “This is doing my head in. I can’t do this anymore. I’ve lost interest.” While another wrote “I have no motivation”

What has been your experiences with online teaching or indeed online learning? Do you think the new normal can be sustained long-term?

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