Is Distance Learning the New Normal?

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The current Covid-19 global pandemic has changed the way we live our lives in so many ways, and education has taken a big hit, with many schools closed indefinitely, while others are open, with many restrictions in place. As the Coronavirus can be airborne and easily transmitted from person to person, we simply cannot allow our children to be exposed at this current time.

Education Must Continue

The idea of simply postponing school indefinitely simply isn’t an option, so most governments are already putting in place an online education system, which will enable students to study with a remote teacher. Schools in the US, UK and Australia are already running a distance learning curriculum, while many parents have decided to school their child at home, using classroom architecture from the online supplier to create a classroom in the spare room.

Home Schooling

Given that their children cannot go to school, many parents prefer to educate their child at home, and your local authority would be happy to advise you regarding home schooling. Of course, you must have the time to do this, which is a full-time job, and providing your child passes term exams in all subjects, you can continue to educate your child at home. If we get back to normal, here is a great guide to choosing a school for your child, which outlines what a good school should have.

Essential Hardware

In order for your child to study at home, you will need a good computer, an Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone, then you are ready for online study. The school would set up the video conference software, which you would need to download onto your computer, plus they would send by regular mail things like text books and other learning resources.

Teacher Training

All regular teachers will require some training in order to make the transition from the regular to the virtual classroom. Indeed, many teachers do not have the IT skills, so governments will initiate IT classes for teachers. This will take a few weeks, then all teachers will be able to manage their classes in a virtual environment, and this is likely to be the normal until at least next year, with no end in sight of the spread of Coronavirus. Here is some UK government information about teacher training, which is an interesting read.

Active Learning

While in the traditional classroom, the students take a passive role, with distance learning, the student must have a degree of discipline and be active in the learning process. There is one great benefit that comes from this current situation, the students will develop self-learning, using the Internet as a learning resource. Older students will require less supervision, while younger children will need to have their parents with them while learning online, so do bear that in mind if your child is younger than 10 years old.

If your child is soon to start online learning, make sure you are well prepared and it should be a great experience.