Is online education detrimental to the social and academic development of children?
I very strongly was on the agree side at the start of the debate. When I hear the words online learning or education it brings me back to COVID19 and the emergency learning we had no choice but to do. Kari in the group conversations stated, “Pandemic learning is different than online learning”. I think this is a key statement. No one was ready in March 2020 to close their classroom door and lock the school up. We had no idea what this would look like and how we would reach all our students and continue teaching them adequately. Just like the video “We’ll Be There for You” we all stepped up and did our very best. Why? We are teachers and that is what we do.
Both sides of the debate gave compelling points and I know find myself on the fence and think online education is equally good and bad. There are truths to both sides and I feel it comes down to the student whether online education can be successful for them. We need to remember that online education differs from the emergency online learning we all were a part of. These are some of the main arguments for each side.
Agree Side -Colton, Kayla, & Britney S
- digital divide
- safety & security of students
- parents unaware if child is attending or doing their work
- not everything can be taught online
- difficult with authentic assessment
- impact on mental health
Disagree Side- Arkin, Kat, & Christopher
- cost effective
- self discipline
- customized learning
- smaller class size
- family dynamics
Online Education is now available by choice. The disagree side during rebuttals discussed that the option of online education provides more options for students. I have enjoyed being able to take my master courses online. It was more convenient, made my life easier and made me become more self disciplined with timelines. Colton in the rebuttal suggested that online education makes students more prone to procrastination and many students fall through the cracks. I did see this happen during the pandemic in some of my students and some who did not show up online or submit any work. Working with parents on these matters I felt there was no follow through. We are aware of our students and that not all have good work habitats. Procrastination and bad work habits can occur regardless if online on face to face.
This is my child. There are other factor that attribute to his work as well, but that is for another post. He is very capable, but regardless he struggled with online and struggles face to face. The teacher in me and as his parent it is very frustrating. High Focus Centers, article has a section called How To Help Your Teen Cope which gives strategies to use with your child. I tried all of these during emergency online learning and none of it helped my son. It was and is a daily battle.
Another great debate, which keeps you thinking and sorting out the positives and negatives in online education.