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In addition to connecting people through social media platforms, the internet strives to do even more: teach.
True, people find plenty of entertainment, online shopping and social networking opportunities online, but what about learning opportunities? At times, it can be difficult for parents to teach their children without passing on their preexisting learning anxieties. When it comes to the way people learn, the tools of teaching are changing.
Luckily, Utah Online School wants to help you make an informed decision about your child’s education, so here are some of the pros and cons of online learning:
The pros of online learning
1. It can get students excited about learning and studying. "The way that students learn has shifted tremendously over the past five years," says Ann Miura-Ko, the co-founder of Floodgate, an investor of digital businesses, especially tutoring websites. Miura-Ko continues, "(kids) are now driven by the devices in their pockets and at home."
2. Students have flexible access to learning. With the help of an online teaching or tutoring service, students can reach an educator at almost any time and receive answers to their questions while studying. In-person tutor meetings usually take place once a week, while online learning can happen right when the student has a question.
3. Tutoring sessions and online schools tend to be much more affordable, and thus, accessible. While most in-person tutors charge anywhere from $50-$80 and hour, one hour with a tutor online usually comes to about $40. In addition, online schools don’t have nearly as many itemized fees that public or private schools do. This means that students can spend less and learn more, with added flexibility.
The cons of online learning
Obviously, the accessibility of the fairly new digital tutoring market offers students feedback at the click of a button, but are there disadvantages as well? Here are some worth considering:
1. Despite best efforts, technology can sometimes be limiting. If your internet connection fails, the tutoring program’s server crashes or either participant’s computer gets bogged down for any reason, learning is put on pause. That’s why it’s important to consult reputable and experienced sources for online learning.
2. The majority of the responsibility falls to the learner. If you’re not a self-starter, online learning can be difficult because there won’t be an in-person facilitator. It takes motivation to continue to do the work when you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder.
3. More time spent on devices. Still, if you limit the recreational time your kids spend on devices, you can minimize total screen time and replace game-playing time with outdoor activities. This is only a disadvantage if you let your children use devices to fill all of their free time.
If you feel like your child can benefit from the environment online learning provides, consider a local online school. Some kids just work better in a self-starter situation, where they can work at their chosen pace and receive help and instruction on a more flexible basis. To find out whether or not an online school could benefit your child, visit Utah Online School.