This guest post is contributed by Christine Kane from internet service providers, she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs. As is the tradition at Virtual School Meandering, this will be the only entry today.
The option of online education, which at first seemed to be limited to those who were working and going to school, is now readily available everywhere these days. In fact, people of all age groups, not just those who have already been through college once or can’t afford to go to college full-time, are gravitating toward it in droves – even those in the K-12 age range. There have been many technical articles that have explored the traits that make some e-learners successful, such as this one from Pennsylvania’s Department of Instructional Technology, and it has become clear that not everyone is cut out for taking classes online. There are marked differences between those who fare well in a traditional school setting and those who are more likely to succeed with online learning.
1. Personal responsibility
With the traditional classroom setting there is a lower level of personal responsibility involved than in the e-learning setting because you have a teacher guiding you in what to do, and your work is due at certain times during the class period. E-learning, on the other hand, requires students to be in charge of completing their work in a timely manner and facilitating submitting it to their teachers, thus more personal responsibility falls on the e-learner than the traditional student.
2. The need for direction
A typical e-learner will turn to their teacher for guidance on what tasks to complete, but they will not fully rely on them for that. In a traditional setting the teacher instructs students with exactly what to do and how to complete it. There is less freedom in the traditional setting because everything follows a more rigid daily schedule than those who are learning online and have a more generalized schedule. In a study done examining successful e-learners and those who are not it has been found that having good self-direction is vital for success in the e-learning environment. This study brought varied responses in regards to K-12 learners feel about asking for direction, which demonstrates how well some people fare in a traditional setting where others do not.
3. Working with others vs. independently
A lot of traditional classroom settings, especially in the younger years, not only encourage group work but require it. In a virtual setting, however, group work may be accomplished in a discussion form online, but that’s about the extent of it because the students don’t have a set schedule each day, only a guideline for what work needs to be accomplished.
Being in a traditional classroom setting where you interact with students on a daily basis can lead to bullying and discrimination amongst those students who are different from their peers. With online education there is no discrimination because you are behind a computer screen and there is no one to judge you based on your age, weight, appearance, etc. Bullying has taken a front seat in media attention right now, and e-learning all but eliminates exposing kids to the bullying that is prevalent in the more traditional school setting.
5. Social interaction
There are many valuable social skills that are formed during adolescent school years that kids in a traditional school setting are exposed to through interactions with kids their own age and adults alike. E-learners have the potential to miss out on forming these valuable social characteristics because of a lack of interaction. If those participating in online education don’t have other ways of interacting with kids they may lack certain social skills.
The differences between traditional education and online education are vast and varied. Both settings offer many pros and cons, and the results are fully dependent on the person involved in the education. Where some thrive others will suffer, making the type of education they receive a distinctly personal choice.
This guest post is contributed by Christine Kane from internet service providers. She can be reached via email at Christi.Kane00@gmail.com. Christine welcomes your comments below.