Teaching has grown alongside digital advancement, and online instruction is gaining popularity at lightning speed. Applications such as Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime work miracles for people who want to remotely connect in a personal way.
These online apps enable fruitful interaction between teachers and students from the comfort of their own homes. Such an approach saves time and energy for both and gives an opportunity to invest more effort in actual learning. However, online teaching can also have some drawbacks. These are the pros and cons of teaching and learning online.
Advantages (Pros) of Online Classes
A Greater Focus on Learning
Unlike in a traditional classroom, where your students, especially young ones, can be easily distracted by other students and classroom activity, a one-to-one online class actually keeps the students constantly concentrated. This is because online teachers typically use a learner-centric approach, where students are always working on tasks, talking or writing, with a teacher as a guide rather than a lecturer. This can be a great advantage when it comes to the pros and cons of online learning.
Wider Range of Learning Materials, Compatible with All Devices
When it comes to quickly retrieving information and accessing a wider range of tasks, traditional classroom settings may be a bit limiting. On the contrary, English teaching resources from the internet make your materials more versatile and personalized.
Check out our list of english teaching resources here.
Convenience and Flexibility
With online classes, students and teachers can independently plan their study time, as there is no dependency on schedules and curriculums.
No Pressure on Students
The students can study at their own pace, without any pressure and comparisons with their classroom peers. Such an approach can significantly boost their productivity and become an advantage when talking about pros and cons of technology in education.
Better Student Support Quality
Further analysis of the pros and cons of online classes reveals that you are more available online than in a traditional classroom and/or during your working hours. Your students can ask you questions online and you can respond within a day. On the contrary, online communication between a teacher and their students outside a traditional classroom is still a decently rare occurrence.
Due to time and energy saved from commuting, both the teacher and the student feel happier, and thus more productive during their work. Besides, an online class cannot be canceled because of weather conditions, as long as the internet connection is stable.
Online learning can connect the teachers and students from all over the world.
With increased popularity of online teaching, the need to build new school facilities, infrastructure, purchase new equipment, etc. will significantly decrease.
As we have already mentioned, there is no need to commute to work, and absence of commuting cuts down on energy spent getting to and from school. Besides, the e-learning materials are eco-friendly, too, because no paper is needed for online books.
These are just some of the advantages online education can bring.
Disadvantages (Cons) of Online Learning
The advantages of online classes are indisputable, so we tried hard to find the challenges of online learning, and here they are:
Possible Issues with the Internet or Electricity
In some regions, the internet signal can be quite weak, and power outs are common. Of course this is a disadvantage of online classes because these things can completely shut off the connection between teacher and student.
When speaking of disadvantages of online education, it is worth mentioning that some “old school” computers or laptops are too weak to handle Skype calls. Therefore, you or your students and/or their parents may need to invest a significant amount of money into upgrading a your equipment or buying a new laptop. You can also use your smartphone for online lessons, but it is difficult to hold it for an hour straight while using a camera.
Difficulties When Finding New Students
If you are not working for a school that can find students for you, you may have not that many students at first. However, you can advertise your teaching services at special websites, and of course your students can recommend you to their friends. You can also apply for a job at VIPKID, so we can advertise your services and connect you with dozens of new students.
Not Great for Health
When talking about online education pros and cons, we can also say that sitting in front of a computer can cause back and eyesight problems. While kids can stand up and play around in the classroom, it may be a bit more difficult to do so in a home classroom. However, an online teacher can invent some workarounds and still encourage the younger students to do some activities that will require them to move. This is entirely in your hands. You can take breaks between classes or invest in a chair that support proper posture.
To sum it all up, we hope that our list of the pros and cons of online education will help you decide whether you want to be involved in online education. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.