Why is Online Teaching Helpful in Education?

Since the pandemic began in 2020, the landscape of education has shifted beyond measure. With schools, universities, and workplaces closing their doors to students, workers, and teachers alike in every country, we have started to realise the power of online platforms in the sphere of education. In the midst of what we all can agree was a very dark time on our planet, we can at least be thankful for the fact that technology has opened up a world of light and educational possibilities. Whereas in the past, the idea of lessons learnt completely online might have seemed untenable, now the suggestion seems entirely normal. And the reason for online education’s usefulness isn’t only limited to pandemic-related factors, and there are more besides! Let’s examine some of the ideas behind why online teaching can be so helpful in education.

Access to even more opportunities

It’s not news to us that the other side of the world is now accessible via just the click of a button since the advent of the internet more than 30 years ago. But the level of access and opportunity this has brought for humanity is only just beginning to be realised. Whereas before, schools, universities, and colleges were limited to the opportunities that existed on their doorsteps due to the felt need for physical presence – an expected norm of teaching and learning – now, and especially since the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to think outside of the limits of the traditional, physical classroom, we have been able to look further afield. We can gain access to experts all over the world to incorporate into learning opportunities, greatly enriching the educational experiences available to us. On top of being able to engage more and more interesting people from all over the world, we have been able to free education from the needlessly limiting parameters of physical space.

Another excellent side-effect of having access to more of the world and its experts is the ability for students to learn from real-world problems. There is much evidence to show that engaging students with actual problems and giving them the opportunity to think of tangible solutions to them makes a vast improvement to students’ motivation around learning. When students can see something changing as a result of their actions, this leads to empowered and inspired learners: the sort of adults we want to have in charge of our planet! Furthermore, the world’s problems are benefiting from even more brainpower and fresh perspectives!

Greater agility for educational institutions

With the power of the internet and technology, educational institutions and their teachers and students everywhere can be prepared for almost any eventuality. Since the pandemic, we have had the chance to open up and experiment with new and previously unconsidered pathways in teaching and learning. Schools suddenly found that they could easily send exercises, homework, and lesson plans home for parents to try with children; universities could conduct large-scale lectures and small seminars via video link, and employers could provide training to their staff in the comfort of their own homes. Let’s not forget health and safety too. We all value our well-being and keeping each other safe through new eyes since 2020. Now, as new variants arise, we can be sure to stay out of harm’s way by being agile about our educational strategies, allowing learning to happen from home at the click of a mouse.

More people are learning than ever before

In the age of globalisation, we are developing faster than ever before, and more and more people have access to technology and the internet itself. The demand for courses such as Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is at an all-time high, showing how access to good quality English education is increasing. In terms of providing people access to the huge global English-speaking job markets, this access to English education is immeasurably useful. Of course, whereas in the past, those holding the TEFL qualification would travel to new countries to take up their first teaching posts, now they are able to teach from the comfort of their own home. This is not only helpful to teachers in securing more students, but also allows their students the same degree of comfort.

Fun platforms and content

With the screen now at the heart of the learning experience in online teaching, a new range of tools has become available to teachers. No more do lessons have to be confined to ragged old textbooks in stuffy classrooms. Teachers can usher in the new age of technology by incorporating the touch screen devices that kids love and the lively apps and software that help traditional lessons step over the gap into edutainment. This helps bring education into a new era where fun activities and engagement are the keys to success instead of the forced, memorised learning of the past. Not only is this helping children to find the fun in learning, but it is allowing children and teachers to enjoy the learning experiences together by removing the need for such intense behaviour management and classroom control methods.

Easier submissions and less waste of resources

Whereas in the past, students may have had to take the trouble of traveling from their home all the way to the university library to log in and print off a copy of their work to submit come assessment time, now they can send it in electronically in one swift click! Imagine the pointless hours of car travel and all of the associated emissions that are being saved due to the miracle of online submissions! Not to mention the trees and water being saved due to the reduced use of paper and the many associated pollutants of the printing industry! The movement of teaching from a physical to an online space has indeed had myriad positive effects on the planet.

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