The COVID-19 pandemic has forced traditional schools across the world to adopt remote learning strategies–with varying degrees of success. If you’ve had a bad experience with your public school’s switch to remote learning, you might be wondering when it’s going to end. When are things going to return to normal?
The world can’t wait for a post-pandemic return to normal, but people have mixed feelings about returning to in-person learning. Some have had bad experiences with their public school’s transition to remote learning. But others have thrived from online schooling. Overall, the pandemic has revealed benefits of online learning that are likely to change future education.
What Online Education Isn’t
If you’ve experienced online education through your public school’s response to the pandemic, you probably haven’t experienced what remote learning is actually like.
This is because most traditional, in-person schools weren’t designed to support remote learning. They don’t have professionals trained for online platforms. They had to scramble in a matter of weeks, or days, to recreate an entire learning experience. Normally, creating a successful online class requires at least a year of curriculum design and faculty training. There’s no way to rush such a monolithic undertaking without sacrificing quality.
Sadly, this unrepresentative experience of remote learning has turned some students off from considering future online education.
If anything, what people are mistaking now for online education — long class meetings in video conference rooms, professors in their bathrobes, do-it yourself tools made of rubber bands and cardboard — appears to be making them less, not more, open to it.— John Marcus, NYTimes
What Online Education Is and Why it Works
1. Online Education’s Flexibility can Reduce Anxiety
One of the top perks of online education that students have reported is its flexibility. Without a rigid schedule blocking out their day, they’ve felt less stressed as they learn at their own pace. Research reports a direct relationship between “overscheduling” and students’ anxiety.
2. Online Education Empowers Teens who Need to Work
Online learning’s flexible scheduling also empowers teens to alleviate financial burdens without sacrificing their education. Hernandez Martinez, a high school student in Maryland, shared her thoughts on this topic:
Give [students] more power over their time…the option to go to school online, give them that option. I know a lot of students who need to work because they need to help their parents or are on their own. Having that option is a big relief.
During her sophomore year, Hernandez managed two full-time roles as a student by day and cashier at McDonalds by night. She was left with little sleep and time for homework.
At her school counselor’s recommendation, she joined Tranzed Academy for Working Students, which provided her with online learning opportunities and the flexible academic scheduling she needed to live a healthier lifestyle.
3. Online Education can Help Distracted Students Thrive
Montenique Woodward, a middle school teacher in Washington D.C., shared “surprising news” about one of her students.
Before the pandemic, her student would act as a “class clown,” consistently disrupting class and affecting his peers’ behavior. But Woodward shared how the same boy has been flourishing with remote learning:
I think not having those everyday distractions in school has really allowed for kids like him to focus on the work and not necessarily all the social things going on because some kids can’t separate that out.
Teachers around the country have reported this same trend. Some of their students who were previously distracted by unhelpful social elements of in-person schooling are performing better with online learning.
Will Online School Continue After the Pandemic?
While you can expect public schools to return to in-person instruction after the pandemic, you can also expect online education to continue to grow.
Online education has been growing in popularity, availability, and quality for years. Technological advances in video conference platforms and increasing internet access has contributed to this trend. Because of its ability to reduce anxiety, empower scheduling needs, and improve focus, online learning will continue to be attractive to a wide range of students.
What Sora Gives to Students
Sora is a unique online high school that gives students all of these benefits, and more. At Sora, we carefully balance flexible work time with live, interactive classes. Because of our small class sizes, we’re able to maintain a tight-knit community. This way our students can learn at a pace that best suits their needs while still receiving a personal and engaging academic experience.
Sora students’ learning experience is highly social without added distractions like bullying or rowdy behavior bred from large class sizes. They love their peer community and have met some of their best friends through Sora.
If you’re looking for a more engaging and flexible learning experience that caters to your needs, click here to start a conversation with our admissions team.