Even though online learning may have its perks and advantages, face-to-face learning is the best and most efficient way of learning. One may argue that online learning offers a flexible schedule and less stressful environment, but learning in a school with other students gives kids the opportunity to learn important life skills such as communication and responsibility. Students who learn online do not get much of a chance to interact with other students and teachers; this could be more harmful than beneficial because they don’t get to develop friendships and relationships with people, which is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. For example, I’ve met some of my best friends at school, and I would have never met them if I didn’t go to school.
Also, online schooling does not offer extracurriculars or sports as a normal school would. Receiving an education at a school gives students the chance to learn from trained educators rather than a computer at home. At school, students are allowed to ask as many questions as they want if something is unclear. From personal experience, I realized that I learn a lot better by getting extra one-on-one help from my teachers. This wouldn’t be available for those who learn through a screen.
One may argue that since online schools require an intense amount of self-discipline, it is as good as an offline school. However, this would not be helpful for a student who lacks self-direction. It is sometimes difficult, especially for a teenager, to find the motivation to study and get up to go to school, but since there is a set time and schedule for school, students have a guide to discipline themselves to get work done. In contrast, online schooling makes it harder for one to overcome a lack of motivation because their schedules are flexible, which would make a student less driven to study.
Despite the cons of online learning, there are many instances when it is better for certain individuals. For example, a lot of teen celebrities use online schooling because it is more convenient for them and their schedule. It allows them to pursue their dreams while getting an education on their own time. It also gives them a chance to go to college. There are also some people who prefer doing online schooling because they prefer a different learning style. Since online schools allow students to learn at their own pace, this may entice some people to choose to learn online over face-to-face.
There are many reasons why a person could choose an online school over a public or private school, but I think that it all depends on a student’s situation and circumstance. A person could be better suited for an online schooling environment, while others may be better off physically going to school.
Graphic: Wednesday Hsu