E-Learning vs. Classroom Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the global transition of all spheres of life to the digital space. What many countries have been practicing in the form of supplementary or pilot projects has become the accepted norm overnight. This has not spared the education industry. Already from the preschool period, children had to master technology, learn to concentrate on the abstract and develop skills that did not yet correspond to their physiology and psychology.
If adolescents and graduates had all the problems associated with social isolation, children of primary school age and their parents faced serious problems that did not exist or should not have been if the children went to school.
All of this has led parents to wonder if e-learning can replace school. Many articles have been written about the educational component of this shift to e-learning. In this article, we will look at the difference between e-learning and classroom education in the context of the impact on the health and well-being of the child.
Impact of e-learning on children development
Violation of posture in childhood inevitably leads to disruption of the internal organs’ activity. If the development of scoliosis, kyphosis or lordosis is not prevented, as a child grows up, he/she may face diseases of the respiratory, cardiovascular systems, and, naturally, the musculoskeletal system.
Long-term irradiation of the vision organs negatively affects not only the refractive power of the lens and the tone of the eye muscles, but also the central nervous system. Irritability increases, the minimum period for maintaining concentration of attention is shortened, and the risk of developing hyperactivity boosts. In some cases, the opposite effect can also occur, when the continuous excitation of neurons contributes to the development of a long period of hypoactivity.
The constant stay at home mode, which has become a school, a place of entertainment, and an office for parents, all-in-one, often negatively affects the psycho-emotional state of children. It is difficult for children to maintain a sedentary lifestyle, which is associated with the physiological characteristics of age, which, in comparison with adults, can be equated with depression.
Why shift to e-learning is a disadvantage in comparison with a classroom?
- In the classroom, children do not interact with gadgets so much, which minimizes the risk of developing the inconveniences and health problems described above.
- At school, children take a break from classes and have the opportunity to warm up and throw out energy at a particular time.
- Children are not alone in the classroom, which helps them to develop skills for live communication with peers and adults (teachers), as well as to exchange ideas and to make friends. All this helps children to develop both psychologically and physically.
Why it can be an advantage in comparison with a classroom?
- With the right approach, home-based activities can be the best choice for children. If adults can create a comfortable and eco-friendly space for classes, it will be possible to avoid the risks mentioned above and preserve the health of the child.
- The psycho-emotional state can also be favorably developed by minimizing contacts that are toxic to the child (individually selected teachers, friends the child feels comfortable with, and of course parental care).
- The flexibility relevant to e-learning is indispensable in achieving child well-being. Each student has his/her own style of assimilation of information, his/her own time of activity and rest, so personalization of the educational process is one of the main advantages over classroom education.
Answering whether e-learning can completely replace classroom education, we can only say that at the moment the ideal solution would be to find a balance in the conditions where the child exists. The need for e-learning development grows day by day, but in-person education has its own advantages, which don’t change over time. So a radical answer in favor of one solution or another is not overall and does not take into account the importance of combining technology with social aspects, which is mandatory in the post-pandemic era. Therefore, it is best to follow a hybrid approach with a shift to the approach that is more organic and comfortable for the child, and that contributes to the effectiveness of the learning process individually for him / her.
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