These days, distance learning is a viable option due to the threat of Covid-19. This means students and teachers can learn remotely to keep themselves healthy and lower their risk of getting Covid-19. Since not many students are used to distance learning, this presents a set of unique challenges.
Some students enjoy learning on their own while not being tied to the stressful environment of traditionally loud and crowded classrooms. But most learners were already used to traditional learning methods when cities went on lockdowns.
It is the role of everyone—not only the students and teachers but also the parents—to think of ways to help their learners manage these issues effectively. This way, learners can continue getting the most out of their education while still being able to enjoy the experience. The following are common distant learning challenges and solutions.
Loneliness and Isolation
Feeling lonely and isolated can make it easier for individuals to feel mentally and emotionally unstable. One of our basic needs includes a sense of love and belonging. As we shelter in place and learn from a distance, our need for constant social connection increases.
But because we now do most things at home, including learning, more students feel lonelier and isolated. They now miss being with their friends in real life, whom they can simply meet up with in between and after class. They miss interacting with their classmates and teachers along with other students whom they can only see these days in their virtual classrooms and social media.
Learners must be given the opportunity to interact, talk, and build that sense of community with others. One way teachers and their respective educational organizations can help is by providing students with a secure and interactive online community. The secret is to invest in reliable social networking software for their students.
This way, students will have a safe environment to interact and engage in activities that concern their studies. The school and professors will need to ensure the platform is generally easy to navigate. They can also use the platform to help students easily reach out to their professors in case they are reluctant to approach them during online sessions and in front of the entire class.
As for the parents, it is their job to ensure they know what their children need and what they are going through while learning from a distance. Watch out for signs of loneliness, stress, depression, or anxiety. Educate yourself on how you can help and seek professional consult if needed.
Unstable Learning Environments
Not all learners have the means to study online. Some belong to families that lack the funds needed to buy the technologies often used in distance learning. Not all also have the space at home to make distance learning a productive feat.
Parents need to find ways to help their young learners create a quiet and productive space where they can study in peace. This is especially true if you live with many family members or if they are sharing rooms with their siblings. Each of your learners must be given a chance to use available resources for studying as needed.
The following tips can help parents set a more stable learning environment for distance learners.
- Set up a productive learning space free from distractions
- Talk to other members of the family about your learner’s need for peace and quiet during online class
- Help them get into a school-like routine
- Use available gadgets that children can use for learning
- Ask for help and find ways to give kids access to technologies they will need for distance learning
Staying Physically Healthy
Sheltering in place and distance learning made more students live a sedentary lifestyle. Since they typically do everything at home, they no longer get the extra exercise they enjoyed back on campus. Parents need to motivate their kids to stay physically active to keep them healthy.
One can consider these tips to help distance learners stay active.
- Distribute household chores among the kids based on their age and abilities
- Ask them to take a break while learning every once in a while by walking or stretching
- Play exercise videos that young kids can follow
- Include them in your exercise regime
- Allow them to join extracurricular activities
Distance learning may have given students the opportunity to continue their education in the comfort of their own homes. But this also made them face unique challenges they typically don’t experience in a traditional classroom setting. Helping learners manage these challenges will make it easier for them to thrive while they stay as distance learners.