Online Education, Coronavirus In UK – Is It Working?
Like so many other thousands of school kids across the United Kingdom this week; Karl Horst is accustomed to online learning because a substantial amount of their school work and assignments is digitised these days; meaning they are mostly done online – remotely via the internet, this includes individual learning plans and tutorials or even skills tests.
Online learning is education that takes place over the Internet. It is often referred to as “e– learning” among other terms. However, online learning is just one type of “distance learning” – the umbrella term for any learning that takes place across distance and not in a traditional classroom.
But somehow, this ingenious innovative learning tool seems to have just grounded to a halt at the same time as their school screeched loudly to a stop last Friday – together with the rest of other schools across the United Kingdom. The Department of Education and Skills ordered schools in UK to close their doors indefinitely in an attempt to combat and contain coronavirus infection and spread; and rightly so.
If you have had first-hand experience as an online student, you will likely have greater insight into your own online students’ needs and a better understanding of the unique requirements of the online environment. Experience using the Internet and the Web to enhance your teaching in the traditional classroom can be a good first step to teaching entirely online.
On the phone yesterday the 14 – year-old Cambridgeshire boy who is in year 10 lamented lack of feedback from his tutors – already, saying:
“I have done all the work given to us last week, and I sent it off via the normal learning platform, but haven’t heard a word from tutors since.
“I do not know what to do.
“I have also sent an email asking if they received my work or not but still no word from any one;” he continues to complain.
Karl also said something that was until now off my radar, and it left me astounded; that he has been told they may well stay home till next year 2021, when they move straight into year 11.
It may well be that the school boy is already bored and fade-up with everything to do with ‘staying at home’, in ‘self-isolation’, religiously practising ‘social distancing’, and missing his classmates and teachers at the same time – some of whom he may well not see again.
“Even his ultimate hobby; computer gaming does not seem to do the trick anymore;” His mum Kirsty chimes.
But having said so, Karl may have a valid point. It is just under a week since the schools in England and Wales were shut. “Early days;” you might say.
No! Online learning should have just kicked in, rolled-out as good as how gears in a locomotive engine work. You can change gears to navigate different terrains without even stalling the car – if you are a good driver, that is. You change gears when needed ie driving through mud and dirt, uphill or downhill. It is dependent.
For all of the UK, not least the whole of Europe and America’s economic advancements in decades, the rudiments of connectivity — smartphones, reliable internet — remain limited to most of the population that lives some distance away from cities.
As the virus has turned online conveniences into daily necessities, people like Karl, some of whom live in rural hinterlands like in some parts of England, Wales and Scotland have been cut off from their regular lives, especially when it comes to education; despite Boris Johnson having promised rolling out super fast fibre broadband to all British households. That is in fact; Britain’s 5G broadband Network. What happened to Huawei’s “Building a fully connected, and an intelligent world” again?
Or was it delusions of grandeur?
That is the problem.
And it doesn’t even begin to address a myriad of other issues that attach the pandemic to anything, everything and you;