Is online schooling the future?

With the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, most schools have taken their teaching online to not waste time and to start ahead with portions. There are many different types of learners and for some children, online schooling is great and helps them learn flexibly and allows them to take more charge of their learning but for some, it can be hard for them to adjust to such a new way of education in a short amount of time. It also can be hard for them to pay attention online as there may be a disconnect between the teacher and the students.

Since the topic is so polarising, we've come up with a few pros and cons to consider regarding different aspects that online schooling affects and their effects on children.

Mental aspects: Online school can be mentally stimulating for children as it helps them learn concepts over various mediums, learning through graphics and videos can make concepts much easier to understand and this boosts memory and retention.It also prepares them for their future by exposing them to technology which will help them take on corporate jobs. Learning material and other resources are widely available which encourages self study, which can help children learn the way they are comfortable, thereby increasing interest and attention.

On the flip side, since online school is something so new, it can be hard for children to adjust to this new mode of education and keep up with what the teacher is teaching them. This can stop them from asking their doubts and further stops them from understanding the material taught to them completely. It can also cause performance anxiety which can hinder children from reaching their full potential.

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Social Aspects: Socially, relationships between people have taken a turn for the worse, as there is physical distance and disconnect online. This stops children from forming relationships with their peers and friends. It can cause children to feel lonely and left out.

On the other hand, due to the pandemic, children’s relationships with their family have gotten better as parents are able to devote more time to spend with their children, which increases family bonding. Children can find ways of bonding with their friends and peers through video calls, online gaming together or phone calls.

Physical aspects: On the positive side, online school protects children from coming into contact with people who could potentially have the virus and saves them from getting it. It also saves them time from commuting daily to school and back, as daily commutes can be time consuming due to traffic, location etc, the time saved can be spent doing productive work like revising concepts taught, exercising, helping out with household chores etc.

Though, it is not all positive, with the addition of online school, the usage of screen time has gone up and this can adversely affect eyesight, especially since students have to learn online and also do their assignments and take tests online. It also makes children habituated to a sedentary lifestyle that can make them idle and which can lead to obesity. Aside from all of this, excess screen time makes children develop unhealthy posture which can cause back pains and also affect their wrists and necks. It can also degrade their current food habits, as children do not get adequate time in between classes to have proper meals.

Emotional aspects: Emotionally, students can feel left out, as there is a lack of human connection between their peers and teachers. This can cause frustration and leave them feeling emotionally unfulfilled. Dealing with something so new can be very difficult to adapt too. Online school can help with dealing with pressure from school work and also makes children more responsible with their own work. Children find it hard to express themselves and contribute to class discussions. This leads to low self confidence and negative self image. That can hinder mental growth and have a lasting negative impact on the child’s emotional wellbeing.

As we can see, online schooling can manifest itself differently to different people and since the children are going through a tough transition by themselves.

Parents need to help them in whatever ways they can so that children can navigate their way through online school and the way it affects children in many different aspects.

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