Online learning: Pros and cons as school year approaches

pros and cons of virtual learning

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Many southern Arizona students will start their school year off learning from home before school districts transition those interested back to the classroom.

"Having a plan is so important for the brick and mortar schools," said Heather Noto, the principal of the Arizona Connections Academy. "Like I said, I really feel for them in their difficult situation."

The Arizona Connections Academy is an online public school. Noto said public school teachers will have to learn and adapt to the world of virtual education.

"Looking closely at student work, communicating with them on the phone and in email and talking to them about their learning," she said. "Making sure they're bridging the gaps between what the student did online and what they actually can demonstrate."

Parents must involve themselves differently than when their child visited the classroom.

"Creating a regular schedule for their student," Noto said. "Looking at your students work regularly so you know what your student is doing and where they're struggling."

The University of Illinois Springfield describes the strengths and weaknesses of online learning.

Strengths:

  • Virtual learning is student centered as each student independently completes their own work
  • Online classes can level the playing field with attention focused on the school work and not other classroom distractions

Weaknesses:

  • Online learning can pose issues for students that don't have access to technology or resources
  • A greater responsibility is put on the student to stay organized and self-motivated when they're not in a classroom setting

The Tucson Unified School District, Amphitheater Public Schools, Marana Unified School District and Catalina Foothills School District all plan to start their school year’s remotely before reopening their classrooms.

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