Since we currently have to stay at home because of the coronavirus, we are getting to know digital learning better at home. Some are doing well; others are having problems. In this article, we present to you the pros and cons of the topic “Is it easier to learn digitally?”. In doing so, we mainly draw on our own experiences, but also on experiences that we know from others. Especially from one of the renowned online LNAT tutors from “Law-Mind.co.uk”.
Learning at home promotes discipline and personal responsibility because you have to organize the tasks for the day independently and organize your home school day yourself. A daily schedule, a to-do list, or an exchange of views with classmates can help. Learning at home can also strengthen team spirit and cohesion, as you do not always have a contact person when you have problems and are more dependent on each other.
There is no really high time pressure to complete the tasks, so you can do the tasks on a day of your choosing, as long as you keep the deadline. This is how you learn to meet deadlines better. These positive consequences of digital learning can be seen in the fact that homework lines or even letters were distributed almost daily in school. When studying at home, a lot less homework is missed, and if that is the case, the tasks can often be handed in afterward. In addition, homework is sometimes given more properly and carefully than at school.
Another positive effect of technological education is that you become more familiar with technical devices because you use them every day. This knowledge can be helpful for the professional future and it can help if the school becomes more digital in the future. Furthermore, you gain experience in how to handle electronics properly and carefully.
We think it’s a lot of fun to explore the digital world and get to know it better. The digital lessons allowed us to get to know new media and websites better. For example, many classmates have learned new things on the computer, such as creating PowerPoint presentations, backing up files, uploading photos, and printing files.
One more advantage of digital learning is that, in some cases, it adapts to the student: Learning apps find the focal points of errors faster and you can work better on your own mistakes. One example of this is the Quizlet app, which is great for learning vocabulary. Even with the exercises on websites, you often get direct individual feedback on how well you have done an exercise.
The ultimate positive effect is that you are not distracted by disturbing noises while learning. Sometimes you can’t concentrate very well at school because noises – e.g., by cars or animals outside the classroom or by classmates in the hallways – are disturbed.
The good thing about digital learning is that you can work at your own pace. On the other hand, you always have to come along in school, even if you work more slowly than your classmates.
What bothers us most is that you can ask directly at school if you don’t understand something, but sometimes have to wait a long time for feedback at home. On the other hand, in school, it is easier to ask questions to classmates or teachers and to compare solutions immediately.
In our experience, digital learning often takes longer: Since digital lessons mean that you are sitting in front of your computer, tablet, or mobile phone, so you don’t see each other in person, you have to wait longer for the answer to a question. For example, a student had a question on a specific topic that she asked on Messenger. But since she hadn’t asked the question at class time and the other students on Messenger either had no time or no answer to the question, it took almost an hour for the answer to come. This is not the case in school because you are in a room with the teacher and can speak to him. Most of the time you get an answer straight away. Most of the time, the question is better explained than in a chat. If you are lucky you have parents at home who can help you. But parents also have to read up on the topic before they can help you.
We find it negative that we unfortunately currently have no personal or direct contact with friends and classmates and usually only see each other via video conferences. Unfortunately, this is usually difficult because everyone has to have time and sometimes technical difficulties arise. At school, you do a partner task or do something together during the break. In addition, at school, you have someone sitting next to you with whom you can exchange ideas or teach each other something. At home, you have to work everything out yourself.
Besides, it can happen at home that you cannot work on the tasks in time because, for example, the Internet or WLAN is not working. Such failures can hold you up because you can then no longer complete your tasks and make no progress. The teachers will then be shown that they have not worked on it. That’s annoying.
Besides, you can even worsen yourself in some subjects through digital teaching, as you get used to always using all possible aids. So you can do the math problem easily with a calculator or look in the books during digital vocabulary tests. In exceptional cases, this can mean that you have missed too much material in total to work through it on your own.
The major disadvantage of digital lessons at home is that you can be distracted more quickly when you are working – from things like social media, from small siblings or when you pick up your cell phone in between because you have received a new message.
We think it’s a shame that there is a lack of personal contact with our classmates. Learning works much better with friends and classmates, because people you love to give you security and you feel more comfortable, so you also have more fun learning.
Another argument against online lessons is that you look at the screen all the time and it can quickly cause headaches and eye pain. Even if you have to read something in a book, you still look at the computer almost all the time.
Also, it is more difficult to do group work when studying at home, as not everyone always has a cell phone or good Wi-Fi. For example, when a classmate wanted to work with a friend for school via video chat, it took almost an hour because her internet connection was poor. Your picture has stopped the whole time or the sound has broken off in the middle of a sentence. Also, it is not easy to find a time that suits everyone. Some have to share the laptop with siblings or parents and can only take part in such group work at certain times.
What we find difficult is that many students at home do not yet have the necessary technical equipment to process the tasks. Some have to share a computer with siblings or parents and so cannot always work on it. They can only work on their tasks at certain times and maybe not at all on some days. Some families also don’t have a laptop or printer at home, which makes learning even more difficult.
In the end, we find that digital learning has advantages and disadvantages, but it cannot entirely replace teaching in school. We would therefore like to go back to school, but there we would like to work more with computers, tablets, etc. so that we can get to know the digital media better in school.
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