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Online Learning, a double-edged sword?

All of us have learnt through traditional ways of teaching with a teacher standing in front of us, explaining various theorems and science laws. Have we not all become successful? Overseas Family School, a leading international school recently announced its intention to deliver its entire curriculum online by 2015. Online learning consists of students using the computer to access the curriculum and learning without face-to-face teaching. Will it prove to be beneficial or would it harm the child’s capability to learn? Overseas Family School claims that online learning would save time for students. Believe it or not, according to Montgomery College, online courses are more time consuming. In order to converse with the teacher, students are required to type which in fact takes more time than speaking, In addition, traditional classes have a set time in which the teacher talks to you, explaining every concept while the student takes notes, but as online students, reading lecture notes take more time to understand it. OFS believe that online learning is beneficial to students, as it will make them more independent. “It encourages students to make their own decisions, enabling them to be more responsible” said David Lim, principal of OFS. Emma Baker, an academic advisor remarked, “As a academic advisor, I dealt with many students, and I know that students need assistance even up till grade 12. The need someone to guide them right from choosing subjects to a push to try harder in school.” This is something online learning will not provide, unlike traditional learning does – the constant support from all of the people in school. Observers say that the extent of independence given might be foolish considering that not only the Internet not only provides education, but also is a source of entertainment. The Internet is the largest cause of procrastination and procrastination is on the rise, affecting 26% of students nowadays. Even though online learning is an interesting way for students to learn, it eradicates hands on activities and lab work a vital part of education. “In order for a student to grasp an idea, it is essential they experiment and discuss with peers, only then will they truly understand it, instead of reading off a computer screen” said science teacher Michael Boyle. As technological inventions rise, simplicity dies. In order to invent, you need to experiment. Does online learning provide you that space to invent?

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