When the pandemic hit and disrupted how our education system works, the teachers were the ones who had the brunt of the burdens of distance learning. Read this teacher’s point of view on the struggles of eLearning, for educators and students alike.
What can you read in this article?
The struggles of eLearning, from the point of view of a teacher
As a parent, would she prefer face-to-face classes or eLearning for her kids?
When it comes to children’s education, the model has been pretty straightforward. Up until the early 2000s, education was in a classroom of students with a teacher who led the process. Physical presence was a no-brainer, and any other type of learning was questionable at best. Then the internet happened, and the rest is history.
eLearning, the new normal
Electronic learning or eLearning is utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.
If you can maintain the necessary self-discipline, the benefits of eLearning are almost too numerous to count. You can cover the material when you have time, go over it as often as you need, all without traveling to the classroom.
There have been many studies showing that eLearning students retain the material to a significantly greater degree than face-to-face instructor-led classes.
However, while our students (who were born in the age of the internet), can easily adapt to this style of learning, it wasn’t that easy for teachers like me.
As a teacher conducting eLearning, I must say it is very hard because we were trained for many years to do face-to-face learning. But with the help of the different pieces of training that the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted, we slowly learned how to handle lessons and students during this type of learning.
This pandemic taught us a lot of things, especially accepting that we are now in the technology age. That a teacher must know how to operate and manipulate gadgets to go with the flow with the new normal in education.
Struggles of eLearning: Classroom setup before the pandemic | Image courtesy of the author
Struggles of eLearning
We also encountered a lot of problems with this kind of learning. Here are some of them:
Lack of materials
This is one of the biggest problems, especially in public schools. Sometimes we provide the needed materials from our own pockets. Because as a teacher, we took an oath to help our students, even if it means we need to spend our own money sometimes to help them.
Inability to track student’s competency
Another problem is that we cannot track the status of the ability of our pupils. We cannot completely measure their capacity in learning, how they read, or how they answer their learning modules.
More time spent on eLearning than face-to-face classes.
As a newbie in this kind of class setup, one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced is overcoming technical difficulties in the online teaching tools. Despite being an educator for eight years, I had to learn the ropes in teaching my students through eLearning.
Also, being a teacher and a mom is even more challenging in this setup. Sometimes we do not have time to teach our own children anymore because we are too busy printing modules and preparing the needs of our students.
Weighing the pros and cons of eLearning, as a parent
Struggles of eLearning. | Image courtesy of the author
Traditional learning or face-to-face is expensive, yes, because you need to give allowance to your children, spend extra money for projects for every subject and that takes a long time. Just like in distance learning, the results can vary as well.
On the other hand, the importance of eLearning is now a given fact and it can offer an alternative that is much faster, cheaper, and in the opinion of others, potentially better than learning physically in the classroom.
But everything in this world has its pros and cons. For each type of learning, there can be positive or negative impacts, also depending on the type of student.
As a parent, if I had a choice, I would prefer my children to learn through face-to-face classes because they can explore more and develop more skills that way.
But whether they’re in physical schools or online classes, what’s important is that we do our best as teachers or parents to help our children learn and adopt and adapt to what is the new normal now.
We need to help them build their own future and achieve what they want and what will make them happy individuals. And the most important thing is for them to learn more and achieve their goals with your support as a teacher-parent.
Image courtesy of the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sheila Marie Martin has been in the academe for 8 years, 6 of those years in public school. She has three kids, and two of them are currently enrolled in distance learning.