The Problems with Online Schooling
Now that we are well into our stay at home order...in Michigan we just hit our 50th day in quarantine! After the last several weeks of schools across the country transitioning to online schooling....it got me thinking...Does it work? After much thought and contemplation I have come to the conclusion that online schooling doesn't work. Here's why?
I've talked to many students and parents with my job as a high school counselor combined with working with my own teenagers who are doing online work and what I have determined is that online learning causes the students to be both the teacher and the student. In essence, the student has to teach themselves or have a parent help them. Countless teachers are doing a great job trying to teach online through Skype, Zoom, or some other platform, but what is lacking is the collaborative effort that takes place when a teacher and student are face to face.
While schools districts are trying to do the best they can in these unprecedented times, technology is an obstacle that prohibits learning. Students not having a proper computer or tablet as well as a reliable internet connection all makes online learning difficult leading to frustration for parents, students, and teachers.
Finally, online learning makes the relationship much harder to develop if not impossible. As people we are designed to be relational beings... we need connection. In the learning process, their is something that is special about a teacher coming alongside a student and helping them understand a new concept. Coming over to a student's desk makes it personal and memorable...this type of connection is hard to come by over a computer screen.
In summary, online learning is what is being done on very short notice to get us through the school year. It is a substitute for being in the classroom, but not a replacement for it. I applaud teachers, parents, and students for doing the best they can.....but the best learning takes place in the classroom where a teacher leads and classmates contribute which brings about connection and relationships. In the end...isn't that what we all want...to feel like we matter