Distance learning is gaining in popularity both worldwide and in Wyoming. At the same time, this issue raises many controversial points related to the child’s socialization, self-control, and the correct distribution of personal time. For this reason, this method of education has not only supporters but also opponents. However, to approach the topic objectively, it is necessary to understand its aspects. This question is relevant, given the situation with the pandemic and the fact that the development of technology makes it possible to obtain knowledge without leaving home. The opportunity to study remotely expands the boundaries and allows the sphere of education to reach a new level.
Advantages of Online Education
Distance learning can replace the face-to-face traditional education K-12 system in Wyoming, and there are many benefits to this approach. Furthermore, regulating the education system based on the current situation is one of the primary tasks of the Wyoming Department of Education (Wyoming Department of Education). Flexible study schedules are one of the main advantages of online schooling. It is incredibly convenient for young athletes, musicians, and actors who are not suited to a standard class schedule. The following essential aspect is the development of independence: pupils spend more time preparing with materials developed by professional teachers. Students learn how to approach things consciously and responsibly, which will help them in their adult lives. Saving time for tutors is another point; technology can take over some of the teacher’s work: checking homework and compiling classroom statistics.
Another critical feature is the availability of instructional materials and resources. Many online libraries have now opened their virtual doors and allowed their textbooks and manuals for free. In addition, this learning format assumes the relevance of knowledge because printed books usually do not always follow the time. Thus, the distance way of learning empowers both the student and the teacher and makes the process itself more exciting and engaging.
The Other Side
Many people believe that the changes and school closures increase a child’s socialization and contact with other kids. Research confirms that children prefer face-to-face education because of their lack of communication with peers (Senturk et al. 363). At the same time, students are assigned to e-classes, in which they socialize and find friends. As for extracurricular activities – students can attend them in their city, as usual. Thus, socialization depends on how the online form of education will be constructed and how parents will control the child’s time after school.
Another important aspect of distance education is the lack of control. Many teachers complain that it is hard for them to supervise pupils during online classes (Hebebci et al. 271). At the same time, even in face-to-face lessons, there are children with high activity levels and not always acceptable behavior. The main point here is how the teacher distributes his attention and treats the issue. In addition, the educator can approach teaching in a versatile way, giving practical assignments. It will allow students to immerse themselves in the learning process and develop creative skills (Kurlander). All students have an incentive to work, no matter what form of education is used.
Not only teachers and students but also parents are some of the crucial members of the educational process. Many of them, who have several children, say that it is challenging to organize online learning all at once (Abuhammad). In addition, due to work, parents do not have the opportunity to stay at home and monitor the learning process. This question is quite acute because it depends on whether the child will have a chance to study online and attend all the lessons. At the same time, this can be solved in different ways: hire a babysitter, completely entrust the child with control, move one of the parents to remote work, and others. Thus, the problems that arise with online education have solutions. In this case, it depends on the relationship of the child with the parents, the attitude of the teachers to their work, and the desire of all parties to improve the process.
Ways to Optimize
It is necessary to carry out several activities to optimize distance learning and satisfy all participants. The first is to hold training lectures for teachers on the use of technical equipment. A seminar on digital teaching and learning was organized in Wyoming, making it much easier for teachers to continue (University of Wyoming). In addition, most public schools are required to have an Internet connection, which is a primary criterion for evaluating a school’s ability to work remotely using digital technology. In addition, if a pupil does not have the necessary equipment, the educational institution must provide him with a laptop, computer, or other devices, which will allow him to attend online classes. Financial support from the state is also an important aspect. Wyoming has programs that train teachers in technology (Department of Education-Wyoming). It provides an opportunity to increase educators’ knowledge, apply those skills to lessons, and make them more educational. Thus, the available and potential events in Wyoming contribute to a successful transition from face-to-face to distance K-12 learning.
The coronavirus crisis required emergency measures to reduce the risks of spreading infection in different areas of people’s lives and activities. In the field of education, distance learning was chosen as such a measure. This method has many advantages, and many of the problems that arise from its use are solvable. A significant influence on the quality of the organization of independent work in a remote mode can have well-drafted assignments-tutorials for students, financial support from the state, and training programs for teachers. Thus, distance learning can replace the face-to-face form if the necessary measures are observed and if all participants are willing to improve the system.
Abuhammad, Sawsan. “Barriers to distance learning during the COVID-19 outbreak: A qualitative review from parents’ perspective.” Heliyon, vol. 6, no. 11, 2020.
Department of Education-Wyoming. “International Society for Technology in Education: Wyoming Department of Education Offers Support for Teachers to Lead Digital Age Classrooms.” Targeted News Service, 2019.
Hebebci, Mustafa Tevfik, Yasemin Bertiz, and Selahattin Alan. “Investigation of views of students and teachers on distance education practices during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” International Journal of Technology in Education and Science, vol. 4, no. 4, 2020, pp. 267-282.
Kurlander, Carl. “Pivot to remote learning creates a chance to reinvent K-12 education.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, 2021.
Senturk, Sener, Volkan Duran, and Ali Yilmaz. “The Secondary School Students’ Opinions on Distance Education.” Journal of Education and e-Learning Research, vol. 7, no. 4, 2020, pp. 360-367.
University of Wyoming. ” University of Wyoming Faculty Members Aim to Improve Quality of K-12 Online Learning with Free Workshop.” HT Digital Streams Limited, 2020.
Wyoming Department of Education. (1969) Wyoming Education Code.