Moving education online has some obvious, and some not so obvious, advantages.
The obvious advantages include :
- It can be a big time-saver. No more commuting to and from classes, now getting to the class only takes as long as the computer takes to boot up.
- It´s good for the environment. Cutting down on commuting means we cut down on CO2 emissions, and doing everything online also cuts down on paper-usage.
Teachers used to make endless copies of grammar worksheets, speaking activities, etc etc etc, but now we “share screen” and e-mail homework, which means the need for paper copies has been drastically reduced.
- It´s cheaper, both in time and in currency. We save commuting time, buy less fuel and pay less for public transport.
BUT! There are some less obvious, pleasantly surprising side-effects:
Students learn more when learning online than they do when learning in traditional classes.
The flexibility, different mediums available online (videos, pictures, songs, grammar and vocabulary exercises, etc) and the easy access to those during the lessons mean we can have much more interactive, engaging and effective lessons.
Late arrivals and absenteeism are greatly reduced.
With no chance of being caught in traffic jams, being stuck due to unreliable public transport, or even unable to walk or cycle to class due to horrible weather, students (and teachers!) are doing away with the unnecessary stress of being late to class.
This also means that less time is wasted waiting for the whole class to arrive.
It´s flexible and convenient.
Whether they´re at home, on a business trip, or even on holiday, it´s possible to attend the class as long as the students have internet access.
It opens the door to innumerable possibilities, for example: of multi-national lessons, with students from all over the world, attending from their home countries.
We need to explore and apply the advantages this way of teaching has to offer.
We currently have amazing possibilities when using online teaching, and the technology is just getting better!
I for one have high hopes for the new, innovative ways we can utilise the current methods and technology, and I´m awaiting the next wave of e-learning technology with anticipation!!