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Online Learning: The New Traditional Learning

The goal of a student has always stayed true from Socrates to Harry Potter. To learn and become more knowledgeable. The goal of a student has never changed and yet the goal of a teacher is always in a state of flux, to find the best way to teach. Through various modes, through different times, through different approaches, teachers over the centuries have aspired to find the best way to further the comprehension of their students. In today’s technologically driven world we no longer teach through a chalkboard and repetition of subject matter, rather through innovative techniques and by understanding that everyone learns and understands at a different pace and through different forms of instruction.

The most innovative in techniques has been the ability to learn online. Although it may not seem like the newest way to learn, after all, google first opened their engine in September of 1998 and before them was the famous AOL and Yahoo that we all had throughout the 90’s. Yet, now in 2020 the doors of knowledge that were opened to us by the ability to search the world wide web has allowed for an even greater capacity to imbue oneself with knowledge.

An introduction into E-learning is to break the old saying of “easier said than done” for learning through online resources is easily said and easily done. E-learning allows us to learn from the comfort of one’s own home, to actively be petting our dog Roofus yet also be actively engaged in learning the intricacies of how to sell a home and receive a realtor’s license. The ability to do the dishes yet also be learning French over a speaker or on headphones. The possibilities of new ways of learning are endless through the integration of an online school/ tutoring website. In olden times one could only learn through the instruction of a teacher, however, with online data banks overflowing with megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes of information one can leisurely sit back and continue to learn. To sift through and further understand your specified subject even after a session has ended is the future and one of the greatest benefits to online learning.

The ability to learn and progress online allows for what traditional schooling lack, a personalized pace. Never again will the instructor be going so fast you don’t understand, or you miss whole sentences at a time in a rush to simultaneously take notes. When on a one-on-one basis you can ask to pause or on an online video lecture you literally have the power to pause and playback a lecture, allowing you to fully control your pace and learning experience. Online learning allows for an accelerated pace in areas where students strive as well as the ability to take one’s time and fully immerse in those riveting subjects that take more time and concentration to grasp.

An interesting effect of growing up in the 2000’s is that children and young adults are more comfortable with technology now more than ever. Most kids are more in tune with texting their friends than giving them a call. Be it rain, shine, on a chalk board, or an online white board, a teacher will find a way to pass on their knowledge unto the future generations. Teachers have found away to turn “get off your phones and pay attention” to “turn on your tablets or mobile devices and flip to this interesting lecture or presentation that we will now annotate or teach through”. Through online learning a child can reinvigorate their self-confidence by finding they can do the things they saw as impossible through a medium they are already extremely accustomed to. Kids who are nervous about confronting subjects such as math, sciences, or middle 18th century English may feel more comfortable doing so from a place they already know and feel comfortable with, their computers.

The future is online and as the world shifts students become more and more accustomed to an online presence so must we as teachers and parents accustom ourselves to the new normal. Flexibility is a corner stone of online learning, the point being its ability to be accessed anywhere and at any time or at set times but through various mediums be the laptop, cellphone, desktop, or tablet. Now is a great time to access and understand online learning as we practice social distancing and as we stay safe by form of quarantine.

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