The pandemic has taken its toll on society, but it has especially affected education. Teachers have had to alter lesson plans to adapt to distance learning, but these changes are too minute and ineffective. As a result, students are not fully learning the material that they would in a normal classroom setting. Teachers must fully utilize the advantages of online resources to maximize the effectiveness of their lessons during distance learning.
Teaching techniques dependent on a classroom environment lose effectiveness once taken out of that setting. In the classroom, group work was vital in allowing students to learn from their peers’ perspectives, allowing easier comprehension. In distance learning, group work is ineffective due to lack of face-to-face interactions. In class, students’ webcams are seldom on, prompting minimal participation. Teachers must adapt familiar teaching methods tailored to the classroom to complement the online setting. In doing so, teachers are able to maximize the benefits of distance learning.
One distance learning benefit is that it offers teachers the opportunity to utilize resources that work best online. Teachers underwent hours of training focusing on implementing apps and programs in teaching. However, teachers are not taking advantage of these options and, instead, lecture continuously. This prompts the question of whether students are truly absorbing the information. Teachers must have flexibility when adapting their teaching style and seize this opportunity to explore new ways to maximize the potential advantages of distance learning.
The expression “Do not fix what is not broken” appears to be the philosophy many teachers are abiding by during distance learning. Despite the circumstances demanding change, they continue to assign the same amount of homework, under the impression that these are still pre-COVID times. Teachers must consider that learning at home is completely foreign for students, and students do not absorb lecture content as well as teachers expect, resulting in them facing motivational blocks and feeling stumped when completing independent assignments. “Do not fix what is not broken” cannot be the reigning mentality because of the flaws that need to be addressed.
Teachers must ensure that they are exploring all possible resources in enabling students to truly succeed during this time. They cannot assume that students are fully mastering topics based on the inactivity of class. Teachers can utilize different online resources, like Kahoot or Socrative, to make class more engaging and adopt new methods of teaching in distance learning.