The online learning phenomenon which has grown into full bloom at the present moment did not exist a decade ago. This was because, at that time, there wasn’t the network bandwidth available to the public schools for making online streaming or even online calls. Schools at the time were yet to focus on massive online open courseware(MOOC) industries. The governments of many countries were either unaware of the technology that could make billions of people access open-source learning material or were not interested in the idea. The situation since has changed and now students from cross-cultural schools study online across various topics. Network bandwidth has increased greatly and now online learning has become common. The recent situation of the pandemic has also made it necessary for online education. But online learning can come with its disadvantages.
Online education, As with the incredible benefits that come when innovation in a particular field is achieved, comes with its risks. The computer software and mobile apps that are the bearers of new means of networking and online learning also bring fake news and encourage lack of physical activity. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the online learning industry has taken a steep rise. This has led to increasing numbers of the online school’s student community to increase.
Following are some advantages and disadvantages that the online learning phenomenon comes with.
Advantages of Online Education
Higher Flexibility And Control In Learning
Online education today allows students to choose a greater number of courses than otherwise possible. It allows students to have control of their online learning routines. Previously the teachers and the school system were responsible for it. Psychological research has shown that the apparent feeling of being in control is enough to foster more focus on students. This leads to better information retention by students and provides a better learning experience through online learning.
Globalization Of Education By Online education
Online education also means there is inevitable globalization of information. This means the schools of countries that were economically or financially left behind due to unfortunate circumstances like war or famine can now take advantage of it and provide the students in their country through online learning
Competition For Quality
The online learning phenomenon encourages the competition of quality by bringing different schools, students and teachers around the world together. Even if initially there isn’t a connection of the internet in some areas, the efficiency of the online learning system will spread by word of mouth and the quality of education increases.
Online Learning Encourages Innovation
Schools that practice online learning will encourage students to innovate. This is because such schools will inevitably cause students to learn new stuff through the internet that is constantly updated with the newest scientific articles and ideas. Innovation requires that ideas spring up in people’s minds and the internet more or less does this for the people.
Easier Expression Of The Self
Students and schools find themselves more relaxed when online education is used rather than the old methods. This is because online learning allows students to ask questions in a more individual manner. Criticism from peers is almost eliminated and students can now also express themselves digitally which causes the students to be more comfortable.
Encourages Business Growth
The online learning environment has fostered many ethical businesses to grow and also provide the students with high-quality online education. Some of such institutions include Coursera, Udemy and Khan Academy. These online learning institutions go to great lengths to make sure courses include industry-standard learning material. Many of these institutions also offer certain free online learning courses
Disadvantages of Online Education
Dangers Of Misinformation
Not everything that is posted or written online tends to be true and students and teachers who engage in online education and who do not know how to use the internet effectively or miss the signs of misinformation can mistake it for facts. This causes major problems in real life or when online education is translated into real life.
Cyberbullying And Other Cyber Crimes
This is one of the serious risks that come with online education. Cyberbullying can increase the risk of depression among students who are high in a psychological trait called agreeableness. Such students have committed suicide in the past due to the lack of supervision online schools make possible. There are other crimes that come with online schools, like the possibility of private information leakage to people or organizations who shouldn’t have them.
Lack Of Free Time And Buffer Activities
Sometimes when the schools decide the timings of the online learning process, lack of delays can occur because the organization overlooks its importance. Individuals who engage in online learning can also make the same mistake. There is also less focus among the individuals on how to structure their free time and what to do with it. This leads to a lack of buffer activities which are very important for the human body’s health
Online Education Promotes A Lack Of Social Growth
This is also one of the serious disadvantages of online learning. Surveys around the world have reported an increase in the number of people feeling lonely. Online learning takes a very important aspect of social life away from its previous methods and makes it non-existent. Students are limited to sight and hearing of other people, that too through online schools. It creates a dangerous environment for the brain development and social capabilities of the student if not handled well.
There are some aspects of education that simply cannot be done through online learning. Physical presence is required to interact with the object that a student is learning about when the said object does not depend entirely on the internet. For example, students interested in chemistry or mechanical parts and electronics must be physically present to experience the various subtleties that relate to their field. So online education is a supplement and not a replacement to the old school education system.
As noted, the online education system comes with the biggest advantage of providing a bulk of information freely and at low cost, but the same system threatens to make the students of the future lack social skills and has the risks of misinformation. JibuSMS is a Kenyan online school management system that offers an easily accessible online education to remote locations. JibuSMS has been doing this for years and can be the next solution for any online education problems around the world.