The benefits of a remote Internet connection are clear. During global Covid-19 lockdowns, it allowed children to keep up with their education. Workers could continue earning money without taking days off. And students moved to online classrooms to continue their degrees.
According to World Bank data, Covid-19 affected 1.6 billion students. At the worst points of the pandemic, going to classrooms was simply not possible. Most educational institutes rushed to install remote learning in some form or another.
Even though the transition was mostly successful, there are still many challenges to efficient remote learning. Instead of focusing on the positives of remote learning, this article elaborates on its negative effects on students. We hope that a better understanding of remote learning challenges will help make the process better.
Technology and cybersecurity issues
Many educational institutions lacked sufficient technology in the early days of restructuring the learning process. Schools and universities had to buy the required software and hardware. Simultaneously, teachers and students had to be taught how to use it. But that’s only part of the problem.
The immediate challenge was to erase the gap between those who had Internet access and those who didn’t. Students with a bad Internet connection kept getting disconnected from class, and there are still many students like that to this day. Concentrating is much more challenging without a high-quality lesson stream. Moreover, families with one home computer may find it hard to share time if they have more than one school-aged child.
Whether you’re a parent or a student, investing in educational technology is a must before the start of the school year.
Another critical issue is cybersecurity. With so many students going online, cybercriminals quickly exploited the situation. Most schools and universities have secure networks. If their students use their network on-site, they benefit from cybersecurity protection. But that’s lost when students connect from their home networks.
Cybercriminals may exploit this situation by targeting unprotected home devices. For example, they may send a phishing email to an unsuspecting student. And if the student clicks on it and then connects to the school’s network, cybercriminals can infect the whole school system.
It’s crucial to take care of online security. Here are some quick tips you can start following right now:
- Look for cybersecurity software with real-time threat protection like NordVPN. The threat protection feature will monitor your online traffic and alert you of any dangers.
- Learn about phishing scams and how to spot a dangerous link. Remember, a cyber attack may come from an infected file on the Zoom platform. It may also come from a phishing link on your school’s forums.
- Avoid using the same password twice and sharing it online.
- Don’t overshare personal details on social media.
Motivation and participation
Motivating yourself is more complicated than it seems. And it absolutely applies to remote learning. The home environment lacks the dynamics of the physical classroom. In classrooms, there’s constant chatter and knowledge sharing between students. Lunch breaks become lively discussions. Socializing with fellow students is extremely important, especially during busy times of the school year.
Also, there’s more attention from teachers during in-person classes. Even though you can ask the same questions on Zoom, some students don’t feel comfortable talking in the virtual classroom. There’s also a lack of non-verbal communication. Explaining complex topics is more efficient eye-to-eye. Without it, students may lose motivation and start skipping classes.
Good participation is necessary for efficient remote learning: students must participate in as many classes as possible, and teachers must ensure maximum availability. And yes, sometimes that means staying an extra hour to answer students’ questions. Then the relationship is mutually beneficial, and students feel motivated to take part in future classes.
Any person planning on learning remotely should analyze their self-motivation. It’s easy to get lost in a Netflix show on your couch. And that might be reason enough to skip a class. That’s why self-discipline is so important with remote learning.
If you take care of the technical side and motivation, your experience with remote learning can be a much better one. After all, remote learning can help you progress your education from the comfort of your home.