Fez's Daily Debate: Should unis and high schools use online teaching more?

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Saracen's Fez
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Back to an educational question to end the first week of (almost!) daily debates, and on this topic:

Should universities and high schools make more use of online learning after coronavirus?

Lots of universities have announced a switch to online or blended teaching during the pandemic, after doing a term online, and schools have been required to find alternative arrangements too. Do you think online learning would offer new opportunities, such as the ability to offer more subjects at A-level or lectures from speakers all over the world, or is that outweighed by the lack of human contact? And do you think that coronavirus will cause a permanent shift towards online learning?
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username5322502
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Yes, but it should be tailored to specific students and integrated within the standard teachings :cool:. eg By holing frequent online learning sessions for after school revision clubs and study groups. This would allow many more participants and reduce the necessity for students to be in school. Online lessons can also be recorded (in secondary schools) so when it comes to end of years, those who are behind can watch it at 2x speed etc.

Of course online learning would give people more opportunities as they are more inclined to complete online work after or within an online lesson eg dr frost/mymaths can be done within lessons and marked instantly so the rate at which work is completed could be increased if students bother to do em , this also could have a negative effect as ik personally i would probably divert my attention to yt vids in a zoom call.

I don't think it would be wise for it to overtake standard lessons tho as teachers are able to assess much better in a classroom whether or not X/Y/Z is listening. Irl face to face feedback is also much better than having someone telling it to you online as you're able to engage with each individual.

But yh, it's a bad thing if you make it a bad thing. In the end, it could also give rise to more online tutors who may offer further advice to students etc
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CatusStarbright
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I think that blended teaching is perfectly sensible, where it is more advantageous than not. However, I think pure online teaching can be difficult and at times it is much better to be together in person so that things can be explained in a more interactive way. I also think that university learning can be moved to a blend of online and in person much more easily than secondary school teaching, as lectures in particular are fairly well-suited to online learning since they are naturally quite impersonal due to the amount of students in the room. One-to-one meetings just for discussion can also be done online fairly well (I've had a call with my personal tutor via Teams and it felt the same as in person), though I think seminars are best done in person.

When it comes to secondary schools, I do think that this is more difficult to be done online (either fully or partially). Since this is compulsory schooling, the pupil's attendance has to be monitored which means that a structured day is key. It could be achieved through the pupil having to do their work in a virtual classroom all day every day, but I don't think it's healthy to put children though so much screen time. I had a virtual internship last week where I was on my laptop from 9am-6pm and later in various online meetings and doing work on laptop software, and it was quite heavy on the eyes! I also think that completing secondary school work from home could be fairly isolating and feel less supported. University students are geared for independent learning, but those under 16 are not used to it and don't have this skill as well-developed. Finally, I'd say that there's also the risk of poorer pupils not having proper access to the equipment needed and of pupils at home being more subject to whatever is going on at home (e.g. caring responsibilities, being constantly interrupted/distracted, unstable home lives, etc.), which widens inequalities and which we have already seen as being issues under lockdown.
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04MR17
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The future is certainly online, larger institutions like universities will have a few more quid sloshing around to pay for systems that can operate online teaching, which is what we've seen during the pandemic.

I hear of some deputy VCs talking to their senates and saying "the age of the broadcast lecture is over". The rest of the teaching staff weren't quite sure what that meant but I think universities are likely to take this disruption as an opportunity to re-arrange their teaching and offer online courses (similar to Open Uni) in parallel to the programmes they currently offer.

As for schools, I think we will gradually see an increased presence of technology in the classroom. I still remember the introduction of SMART whiteboards! Now those are very much standard and boring and now we're moving onto more exciting things (that also cost money). This won't be a quick thing but schools will become increasingly digital as time goes by. One of the next steps I think will be digital exams.
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