How Online School Learning has Impacted Children?

Mr. Ravi Rajasekhar
Feb 9, 2022
Online school

Covid-19 changed everything we knew about life and living. Every person was affected by the virus, directly or indirectly. Today, as we complete two years of surviving the viral attack and its repercussions, we realize how we have adapted to the change and accepted it as the new normal.

Online learning became the new normal for students all over the world. Technology helped greatly as schools moved online to help students continue with their learning. Had it not been for technology, how would students have spent all those hours locked indoors with no constructive activities to keep them occupied?

Online schools have, indeed, been a savior for students the world over, but as with everything else, there is a downside to a life dictated by technology, too. Let us look at how online learning has impacted children.

Advantages of Online Learning

Educational institutions all over the world made considerable changes to adapt to the new normal introduced by the pandemic. Putting technology to good use, Abu Dhabi schools, too, continued with their syllabus online.

1. Usefulness of Technology

Teachers armed themselves with the technical know-how to impart knowledge at online schools. Modifications in the curriculum and creative lesson plans were employed to ensure the keen participation of students.

In the absence of face-to-face interaction, teachers worked harder to make their lessons and activities interesting and motivating enough to hold their students’ attention.

And, with the need to study and submit their exercises online, students, too, had to learn to use technology to make sure they stayed on par with their classmates. The digitalization of learning helped students have access to notes and assignments, all stored in PDF folders and files.

Technology also helps students by making certain tough subjects interesting and interactive. Learning applications helped students discover interesting ways to develop technical skills and, thus, gain confidence.

2. Flexibility

Online schools help students to study from any part of the world. With school and learning available at home, at their fingertips, students could continue learning irrespective of the place and the time zone.

The interactive applications used in e-learning enabled students to interact with their teachers and their peers to discuss topics, clear their doubts, and participate wholeheartedly in every school activity.

Meetings conducted through Zoom and Google classrooms helped them stay in touch with each other and not miss out on school-related activities and discussions.

Submission of projects and assignments also became easier for teachers to assess as technology helped them keep a tab on all those who worked diligently and those who needed reminders to complete and submit their work.

3. Independent Learning by Students

And finally, online learning made the students independent and technologically savvy. Referring notes online, researching topics, and working on their assignments by themselves, helped students learn to work independently.

And, researching, understanding, and collating information and uploading it onto their schools' e-learning platforms helped them understand the intricacies of technology.

However, for all the plus points about e-learning, there are some minus points, too.

Disadvantages of Online Learning

Online schools have been a boon for students during the pandemic, however, we can’t ignore its consequences.

1. Inaccessibility

Despite the worldwide connectivity through the internet, not every child has access to it. Gadgets, such as smartphones, computers, and laptops aren’t easily available for children of the lesser privileged classes.

In the absence of a physical classroom and face-to-face interaction with the teacher, students of the primary school level often turn to their parents for help. And, in such a case, not all parents have the potential to provide information to their children, especially those who belong to the lesser privileged part of our society.

Such students, who have neither the instruments nor the means to acquire knowledge, tend to fall behind in class. For teachers, too, helping such students is a difficult proposition.

2. Virtual Distractions

Another major disadvantage of online learning is the distracting content available online. It diverts the students’ attention during an online study session and threatens to be disturbing and harmful.

Add to this the inconsistent internet connectivity, which becomes an excuse for many students. They switch off the camera and avoid interaction with their teachers during important question-answer sessions or discussions.

In a traditional setting, students follow the school regulations and attend lectures in their classrooms, with their teachers monitoring them closely, but in online schools, they have the freedom to disconnect under several excuses.

Moreover, with parents busy with their work-from-home schedules, children lack the monitoring they require.

3. Indifference Towards Academic Performance

Due to changes made in the curriculum, assessments, and examination format to adapt to the restrictions of online learning, students are unconcerned about their academic performance. Thus, the seriousness about learning is conspicuously absent, which in turn, hampers the academic development and progress of the students.

4. Effect on Health and Social Skills

And, finally, the absence of physical interaction of students with their peers due to lockdowns has affected their mental health and their social skills. Children have become more withdrawn and introverted. As parents, you will have to focus on how to teach your child social skills at home.

Addiction to screens and hours of mindless scrolling has increased among students of all ages. The attraction of videos and online games that offer no mental stimulation has risen exponentially, affecting their physical health.

Physical education offered at online schools isn’t as stimulating and motivating as in traditional schools. This has severely affected the overall health and well-being of students.

Conclusion

The pandemic brought about a change in every aspect of our life. Education, too, underwent a transformation and e-learning became the new mantra.

Online schools helped students to continue with their learning. The internet helped students acquire technical knowledge that gave them the freedom to discover the virtual world. However, there have been several consequences of e-learning, too.

Spending hours in front of the screen has harmed the physical and mental health of students. It has affected their social skills and this is one of the factors affecting academic performance, too. Will this trend of online learning continue or will children return to their schools is the question on all of our minds as we await a better tomorrow.


Mr. Ravi Rajasekhar

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