School years are one of the most memorable times of our lives, regardless of how unwilling and lazy we were to get up early in the morning. Growing up in a vibrant school environment and making life-long friends is something we value after the responsibilities of adulthood hit.
Imagine missing out on all this as a child! It is what the pandemic has snatched away from the children.
Though the wheels of education continue to turn amidst the chaos, virtual learning is not without its challenges. Especially for the little minds where everything is pictured perfect, it is hard to accept that life is far from perfect and one has to adapt. As a result, children face some challenges in online education.
As a parent or a teacher, you must understand these as they would enable you to devise potential solutions. To help you identify them, here are some points for you.
Feeling of Loniliness
It is always fun doing everything together. Whether it is the daily routine of school life or special events, being in the company of friends makes everything very special. Even the stress of exams becomes bearable.
However, when your student or child is behind the laptop screen, all the fun turns to dust. Children may struggle with a feeling of loneliness and a lack of motivation.
As a school leader, you should map out strategies for a way out. You can bring about efforts to foster community in an online classroom to help children overcome this feeling of loneliness. Incorporating routine rituals into an online class, like having a lunch break together, is essential for effective learning. The experience might not be the same, but it would help mitigate the consequences.
Lack of Focus
A good routine is a key to a disciplined life. The daily drill of going to school early in the morning results in physical exhaustion. That is why children tend to hit the bed early at night and go to sleep, succumbing to their tiredness. Everything falls to place automatically.
However, taking classes in the comfort of homes disturbs the routine considerably. Sleeping in late at night, your child may not feel mentally fresh in the online lecture. It results in a shaky focus, and your child might face difficulty concentrating.
Also, there are many distractions at home caused by family members and technology. Children might indulge in talking to someone at home or using a mobile phone, which results in divided attention. They will need your supervision to prolong their attention span and remain focused.
Difficulty in Catching-up With the Lecture
When learning online, there is a high probability that your child or student might not be catching up with the lecture. Firstly, to explain some things, you need live demonstrations. Though there are many online tools for this purpose, they might not be as effective.
Moreover, you might not be able to tell if a student has grasped the concept or not. Expressions speak volumes. Even if a child is shy and does not voice concerns, you can tell by expressions when teaching on-campus. The same does not apply to online classes, and some children may lag.
Secondly, a student might miss out on some things if the internet has a glitch and voice becomes distorted. A student will have to put in extra effort to understand minor things. It can be both mentally draining and frustrating.
Prolonged exposure to the screen can damage health, especially in children, since their bodies are in a stage of growth. Staring at the screen continuously results in eye strain, redness, and burning sensation, along with a headache.
Your child might be sitting in the wrong posture, which may also result in back and neck aches. It is necessary to give children frequent breaks in online classes to limit their screen exposure. Children should thrive and not develop medical issues that a person encounters at old age.
No Instant Feedback
Instant feedback on the work develops self-confidence in children in some cases. Certain classroom activities provide quick feedback to students regarding their understanding of a topic.
Unfortunately, online teaching has put a full stop to that. Students do not get instant feedback, and this can result in misconceptions. It is, therefore, necessary to pay attention and engage every student in the lecture to avoid such a situation.
Primary schooling is a base, and further education heavily relies upon it. It not only includes a foundation of knowledge but also of grooming and skills development.
It is necessary to make sure that online education does not compromise the quality of this base. Serious efforts are required to enhance the online learning experience for children and help them embrace the new normal.
Make the children aware of their roles and responsibilities as remote learners. It will enable them to navigate the ways of online learning. With your motivation and support, the children can ward off these challenges instead of becoming a victim to them.