By: Marie Miguel on April 8, 2020
As we all know, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and many schools are turning to online teaching as a way of keeping people’s education going, be it a child’s or a college student’s. As technology changes, we did expect there to be more online education, but this pandemic has accelerated it.
You may wonder if online classes are just as good. Is there a reason for us to ditch the traditional classroom? While physical classrooms will be here to stay for a while, many people are going online, and not just because of COVID-19. Let’s discuss it.
Online Classes Have Steadily Been Increasing
This is an obvious one. The second the Internet was introduced, you bet that it did change higher education. Online classes are not anything new. In fact, the first online high school, CompuHigh, was founded all the way back in 1994.
However, as Internet speeds increase and more people have access to smartphones, cameras, laptops, and tablets, online classes have been growing in popularity. However, is it a substitute for traditional education? We say yes. Here are some reasons why it’s so popular.
Classes on Your Own Schedule
While some online classes require you to attend at a certain time, or at least partially, a majority of online classes let you take the materials at any time, and they have a more lenient due date for homework. Everyone is different, and quite often, college courses can clash with how we’re programmed. Someone who is a night owl may wince in pain at a class that’s only offered at 8 in the morning. Someone who has a job and other commitments may find it difficult to balance classes and other commitments.
One criticism of traditional education is how early it starts. Students have to wake up as early as 6 in the morning, and online classes could fix this.
Less Filler, More Learning
Traditional classes can have teachers who go on digressions, and filler classwork so that the teacher meets the length of a class. With online classes, it’s more focused on learning and less on filler. Because of this, many students who take online classes find that they learn a lot more than they do wit their online counterparts.
Learning in a Place That Makes You the Most Comfortable
One downside of traditional learning is the fact that you have to sit in a desk, in an environment that may make you feel uncomfortable. With online classes, you can learn at your desk, while you’re walking outside, during a commute, during a break at work, the list goes on.
Many people find that working from home can produce better results, and the same could be said about online learning. With online learning, you can often learn in clothes that make you feel comfortable, with your pets, and around everything else that makes you happy.
Less of a Time Investment
We mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. Online classes can be less of a time investment. People can often work at their own pace and complete a course in a much faster time. Or, if they want to do it in small increments, they can do so as well. Either way, it can be much less of a time investment than traditional education.
It’s a Greener Choice
We’re getting more conscious about our impact on this earth, and one activity that can damage the environment is traditional learning. Everyone has to drive or take a bus to their classes. Meanwhile, with online courses, you don’t need that.
Online classes can be a lot less distracting. While you do have to worry about going on Facebook, with some distraction apps, you can eliminate sites you find distracting. Meanwhile, at a traditional class, your eyes may wander or you may find yourself falling asleep.
Online classes can be much more affordable than traditional classes. It costs more to physically attend a class, and textbooks can cost a whole lot less when they’re digital.
Plus, there are other costs you can save on when you attend online classes. For example, you no longer have to worry about gas or bus fare. You don’t have to eat at a restaurant, and instead you can eat at home.
Most Classes Have Some Online Presence
When you take a traditional college course, you may discover that it still has quite a bit of an online presence. The professor may assign readings and homework online, and many professors use an online tool for students to communicate with one another or upload their homework.
It’s natural that more and more aspects of the class will be online with time.
Virtual Reality Can Bridge the Gap Between Traditional and Online
Many people prefer a physical class, and it’s understandable why. Some people learn better when they’re in a class with other students, with a teacher who they can talk to. An online course, even one with a video option, may not be the same.
Technology can improve this. Soon, we may have VR classes where you can be in the classroom while still being at home.
Helping Parents Homeschool
Many parents want to homeschool their kids, but they find that they don’t have the time or resources to do it themselves. Online classes and online learning can be a good compromise. Your kids are learning, and they are learning at their own pace, but you don’t have to worry as much about having to spend so much time schooling them yourselves.
You Can Get Help While You Do Your Schoolwork
Another reason why online classes are growing in popularity is that you can do your schoolwork and do something else. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, one thing you could do is speak to a therapist through online therapy. BetterHelp will assist you if you’re stressed over a project or need some guidance.
Online classes are definitely here to stay, even after this pandemic is over. Those who want to get in the education system shouldn’t be afraid of technology, but instead want to embrace it.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-
related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health
resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with
mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.