Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, distance learning has become the new norm. This can be a struggle for many students, as it requires them to find diverse ways to learn by themselves. In spite of such difficulties, there are numerous benefits to this new way of learning. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Forum on Education Statistics, “Virtual education is now part of the planning agenda of most organizations concerned with education and training. The quality of distance learning has greatly improved in the past few years, as both students and educators have become more comfortable with the technology.”
School normally rely on proximity. Whether that’s sitting in class taking notes or eating lunch with friends, school greatly involves the communication and responsiveness of students. Although it’s unfortunate that many are missing out on this important life skill, they are able to create more time for themselves with their new flexible schedule. Before remote learning, students were struggling to fit extracurriculars in, along with other activities, because of the set time schedule that was given by their school. Now, they are no longer tied down to sitting in class until the bell dismisses them. Diamond Bar High School student, Laura Gao, says via FaceTime, “Even though it’s hard not seeing my friends every day, distance learning has been great for me. I am able to spend more time on homework without cramming everything. I can also spend more time with my family, which is something I wasn’t able to do before because I didn’t have the time.” The benefits of students learning at their own pace is extraordinary. Some decide to tackle their work bright and early in the morning after a good night’s sleep while others prefer to sleep in and work late at night. Either way, the benefits of the flexibility of time that come with distance learning is surprisingly convenient.
Along with the flexibility comes personal growth in distance learning. Learning online by oneself may be challenging to some, but it teaches students to work independently. Before, students relied on their peers and teachers to understand class materials and instructions. However, through distance learning, students are pushed to learn with less assistance in their classes. In doing so, students may gain significant time management skills. These skills are crucial for a student’s excellence in distance learning, as they have to balance their personal life with their school life all on their own.
Along with all the challenges that come with distance learning, there are benefits as well. Pushing students to work and learn in ways they’ve never done before will overall set them up for success in their lives.
“Online learning is difficult because no one is forcing me to work,” Gao said, “But it just pushes me to work harder, because I now know that it’s for my own good.”