Since the beginning of the pandemic, when schools shut down in order to prevent the spread of the virus, there have been debates about the effectiveness of remote learning and the toll it takes on the mental health of students. Many did find the sudden switch from in-person to online classes a challenge. Not everyone has the technology required and the type of rooms that are conducive for learning at home.
Moreover, there are numerous distractions like siblings and parents, pets, easy access to social media and television, and many other things that make studying at home more difficult.
However, some children actually prefer the new setup. When classrooms disappeared and classes were relocated to the internet, children who struggled when they were going to school actually thrived with remote learning.
As vaccination efforts ramp up, talks about reopening schools are also starting. Who are the children who are thriving with online classes during the pandemic?
Children Struggling with Social Interactions
One of the challenges to losing the classroom as a setting for learning is the lack of social interactions. Children have plenty of opportunities to speak to and work with people outside of their households, particularly those who are in the same age group. However, this can also be what makes going to school a horrible experience for some children.
Children who have anxiety, are embarrassed to participate in front of their peers, or easily drawn into conflict may do better in remote learning.
For these children, social interaction was a barrier that dissuades them from pursuing academic excellence. When it was removed, they became more engaged, and they were able to realize their full potential.
Children who hesitated to ask questions in class before felt freer because they were able to reach out to their teachers remotely. Because of online classes, they had the option to send a private message to their teachers via text or email.
Educators found that these students participated more and were more willing to use their voice online than in the classroom.
Children who have anxiety were also more likely to receive their elementary education degree online than when they have to be present during in-person classes. Because of their condition, they sometimes choose not to go to school at all, preventing them from learning. With online schooling, their attendance improved.
Children with Mental and Physical Disorders
Moreover, those who found regular classes distracting also thrived with remote learning. Some children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) reported better focus on schoolwork now that background noises present in every classroom have been eliminated.
There were no more children talking, feet walking across the room, and light bulbs buzzing throughout the day. As a result, it takes them less time and energy to complete their tasks.
Classes became more inclusive in the past year. Students with disabilities were able to be involved in regular classes thanks to remote learning. Experts have been asking it for years because it builds a sense of community and belongingness among students with disabilities. While special education classes exist and fill the gap, they tend to be smaller. With online classes, more general education schools opened their doors to students with disabilities.
Children Who Want More Freedom
Moreover, many children found that, when they stopped going to school, they had better control of their time and their environment.
One child who was allowed to play video games on weekdays as soon as their schoolwork was done stopped procrastinating. They made sure to finish and submit their schoolwork on time because there was an incentive waiting for them at the end of it.
Another student found that they were able to perform better because they had the option to listen to music while doing their schoolwork, something they would not be permitted to do in a classroom. It enabled them to concentrate better on their assignment or lesson.
The same freedom that allows workers to become more productive when working at home than in the office is being enjoyed by students who now have to learn in the comforts of their bed or living room than in school.
While some students are eager to return to school once the pandemic subsides, others want to continue remote learning. Schools in the U.S. are already crafting plans to make remote learning an option for students even after the pandemic. Others are looking into integrating the benefits of online classes into in-person classes to help students who struggle with being in school.
Not all students thrive in schools. Not all students will thrive in remote learning, either. The option to study at home rather than force children to go to school and vice versa should be given in the post-pandemic world.