For a traditional, offline educator, online learning may be quite a daunting prospect. However, if the times warrant it, one has to try that. And that is how I began online teaching. With my school being closed as part of the nation-wide lock-down in Brunei, I had no choice, really. However, after having taught several lessons online by now, I am in a position to comment on it.
Online teaching is fun
First and foremost, tinkering with technology, and exploring the possibilities that technology offers for teaching, is fun. It is fun for the teacher who is adventurous, and it is fun for learners of all types, adventurous or not. I use the app Zoom for my classes, and I find it very interesting to use every time I teach. Zoom is pretty easy to use too for both the teacher and the students.
Online teaching is cost-effective
Imagine the economical and the environmental cost involved in transporting hundreds of teachers and students to school and back. Imagine the cost of building a typical school. Online teaching requires just a high speed internet connection and a decent system to work on, and you are ready to go. In terms of money and time, the difference is huge.
Online teaching is devoid of disruptions
As any teacher in a traditional offline school knows, classroom teaching is never without distractions. There will be some distraction or the other, requiring the teacher to take time off from teaching. There are students who want to visit the washroom, and then there are those who disrupt classes by talking loudly and so on. Online teaching, in contrast, is without any distraction. Students are in their own homes, so their comfort level is high.
Parents can supervise
One of the major advantages of online teaching is parents can supervise their kids’ learning. This gives parents much needed information about the child’s education. Of course, for this to happen, the parent has to be at home. Our assumption is that at least one parent works from home if both parents are working.
Online learning requires motivation
Online teaching and learning requires high motivation from both the teacher and the learner. Absenteeism can be rampant in online learning systems if the motivation to learn is not there. Also, in the absence of the physical presence of the teacher, some students may not be diligent in their work, and may decide not to listen to the teacher, even if they take part in the lesson.