Remote Learning: Temporary Measure or a Legitimate Alternative?

Apr 21, 2020

Adaptation, it takes many different forms. Whether it’s the Cuttlefish adapting to their environment by blending into their surroundings, the possum learning how to play dead, or even the infamous Xenomorph (Yes, i’ve been watching sci-fi films during the lockdown.) adapting to survive alongside Sigournery Weaver in the cold, obsidian abyss of Outer Space- all involve the process of being able to acclimatise to unfamiliar situations. 

 

One such situation would be remote learning. 

 

Not so long ago, when football was still on (Oh, how I miss it), the pubs were open, and we could venture outside freely, remote learning was still seen as an alternative means of education, rather than the conventional norm. 

 

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traditions and norms have had to change, and we’ve been forced to change with them. But is this necessarily a bad thing? Expanding horizons past those which we’ve become so accustomed to, although initially difficult, also present opportunities for innovation and personal development. 

 

In the educational sector, subjects previously taught under personal conditions; face-to-face in a classroom, are now being delivered remotely, as we shift from a practice of teaching which has been in place since The Kings School was established in 597, to an unknown, largely unexplored digital alternative. 

 

Over the last month, the hi-impact team have worked tirelessly to host a series of remote learning services, including webinars, which cover a wide variety of topics to teachers in need of material and resources with which they can effectively educate both themselves and their students. Below, we will detail what we have learned by providing remote learning services so far and how they’ve proved to be a beneficial substitute to the traditional classroom environment.

 

Flexibility and freedom:

Take a seat, because this will shock you. I’m not a very academic person. In fact, the most fun I ever had in education was actually during the most challenging stages; College and University. This is because for the first time ever, I actually had control over what I was being taught. No longer did I have to find x, memorise the acronym for the chemical compound of hydrochloric acid, or understand the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ (aka. The greatest lie in the English Language) — I got to learn what I wanted, when, and even decide how I wanted to apply it. 

This level of freedom is also evident in distance learning; granting the opportunity to learn at one’s own pace, in subjects of personal choosing, in accordance with pre-defined schedules which suit both the educator and the student. 

 

Comfort:

Hot chocolate in hand, dressing gown draped from your shoulders, a tattered shirt hanging from your neck and unbrushed hair blowing carelessly next to the office fan- show up to a meeting like this and people start throwing terms like “unprofessional” and “lazy”, but we needn’t suffer their cruel judgement any longer, my friends. Remote learning has us covered.  

Being educated in a quiet and comfortable work space without social pressure can be extremely beneficial to many, especially those who struggle with anxiety or have mobility issues. More importantly, a happy learner is an efficient learner, and making these out-of-classroom options available to students can only help them further. 

 

Real-time and Anonymous Support:

“Miss! Miss! Miss! Sir! Sir! Sir! Pick me! Pick me! I KNOW IT! I KNOW THE ANSWER!” – Me, prior to getting an answer wrong (1999 – 2017)

Teaching dozens of people at a time can be a challenge, especially if i’m there. Communication is key, and it just so happens that it’s a key benefit of remote learning services, too. Tutors are able to give feedback, change assignments and respond to messages electronically too; ensuring that all learners have their voices heard and are free of any criticism or embarrassment they might feel in social situations. 

 

Expert access:

Can you imagine being friends with Prof. Brian Cox or Noel Fitzpatrick off SuperVets (I just think he’s great) and having them share their vast knowledge through online networking? That would be so cool! It’s also not out of the realms of possibility.

It can sometimes be hard to gain access to experts in their respective fields, it can be even harder to trust what you hear and read. Through our remote learning services, we have been able to bridge the gap between prospective learners and specialists in their specific areas of interest. Our webinars have even stretched across international waters, with educators from all across Europe tuning in to enrich their CPD. The popularisation of remote learning could completely change education provision as we know it.