As they say, the new year brings new opportunities along, but 2020 had different plans. It surprised the world with a deadly virus, Covid-19, that spread like wildfire, turning it into a global pandemic. Every day thousands of people were falling victim to this disease that encouraged the government to impose a complete lockdown. It led to the closure of businesses, public places, and educational institutes. Now, adults are working from home, while students are enjoying the perks of eLearning.
Although eLearning has its fair share of advantages, it is not convenient for every student. After all, everyone has different capabilities and learning styles. Some children can self-learn concepts, but others want in-person support from teachers to learn the ropes. As a result, many students are having a hard time coping with online education protocols.
In addition to improper understanding, young students are not tech-savvy enough to handle eLearning tools. From downloading course material, communicating with the teacher, to doing homework requires assistance in every step. Here are the five most significant challenges the education sector faces amid the pandemic and ways to overcome them.
Lack of Self-Discipline & Motivation
When it comes to online education, students don’t have anyone to push them to study. After all, teachers can’t force you to listen to them during an online lecture. It means students need self-discipline and loads of motivation to complete distance learning courses. Unfortunately, many online learners fall behind the course material and think of giving up. Alongside wasting an entire academic year, you will face more difficulties in the future since this is a technology-driven world.
Therefore, develop a positive attitude, seek help from Google, and brace yourself for this online world. If you are in high school, opt for a high school diploma online to avoid any academic loss. Likewise, you can also pursue higher degrees online. Initially, eLearning might seem challenging, but with a positive attitude, you will ace it.
Inadequate Teaching Mechanisms
Undoubtedly, everyone is having a hard time adjusting to the new normal, especially teachers. They have to acquaint themselves with eLearning tools, online courses, document sharing platforms, and video-conferencing apps to conduct online classes. Honestly, learning this all by themselves is impossible due to which they are undergoing extensive training programs. Since educational instructors have a lot on their plate, students receive divided attention.
Moreover, some students cannot independently use technology. As a result, teachers have to play a dual role in training and teaching students. Fortunately, YouTube and other video-sharing forums are offering quick tutorials to help instructors embrace digital tools. It helps them understand audio, video, live sessions and unfolds interactive games they can play with students.
Every student can’t afford the high-speed bandwidth that online courses require. And the constant disconnections make it hard to keep up with the instructor. Similarly, many students live off-campus and find it tough to tune in with the course’s technical requirements. For instance – if you are studying computer sciences, you will need access to paid tools and software, only accessible on-campus.
In addition to technical issues, there are affordability problems too. In a household with three children, parents can’t afford to purchase three different laptops. Surprisingly, governments are granting student loans to overcome these affordability problems. What are you waiting for? Now is a great time to compare student loan refinance rates and college loans. Schools and colleges are also creating learning resource centers to provide technical support to online learners.
Difficult to Adapt
The global pandemic has made students switch from real-time learning to virtual classrooms all of a sudden. It is a new and different experience for primary schoolers. Their resistance to change won’t let them adapt to online learning. Although eLearning gives the flexibility to study from home, it demands a lot of time and intensive work. After all, passive learning and taking notes in online classes are quite arduous. If you have any questions, you have to seek permission, open the mic, and then put the query forward.
Fortunately, the current students belong to Generation Z – known as the most tech-savvy generation. They will eventually accept the new learning circumstances with an open mind and heart. Teachers can also play their part by explaining the benefits of eLearning to prepare students for online classes. Besides this, schools also familiarize students with course management systems (CMS) to readily access all learning material.
Widens Equity Gaps
Unfortunately, developing countries are unable to support learners during the Covid-19 crisis. Firstly, government schools and colleges don’t have an infrastructure to support online learning. At the same time, underprivileged students don’t have access to tablets and smartphones. Many learners in developing countries are not even fluent in the instruction language, making it impossible to incorporate eLearning.
All this learning loss creates a significant socio-economic gap, pushing the underprivileged community into the poverty trap. Many students are also dropping out of school to take up domestic jobs and support their families. Luckily, governments are putting efforts to bridge this gap by resolving connectivity issues. In developing countries, the state is taking initiatives to provide free public Wi-Fi and tablets to government schools.
The global pandemic has impacted every industry one way or another, and the education sector is no different. With the closure of schools, students learning from home have a hard time coping with this transition. The lack of real-time communications and social interactions decreases their motivation levels. Still, with time, they will adjust to the new normal. After all, eLearning will play a significant role in the coming years.