Over the last few years, the prospect of distance learning has become increasingly popular, with people all over the UK taking part in educational courses online, without having to be present in front of a teacher.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, schools all over the UK have had to learn how to implement distance learning into their teaching practices. This has been vital in ensuring that students are still get the same quality teaching they would if they were still physically in school.
Due to the current public health guidelines, students are required to stay at home if they have tested positive for the virus or if they have been in contact with someone with the virus. This means some schools are remote learning on a daily basis.
How does distance learning work?
Distance learning is only possible because of systems such as Milk (My Interactive learning Kit). Milk allows teachers and students to work remotely whilst having instant and accessible communication with each other. A new feature to the Milk Student Planner is the two-way chat function, which enables teachers, students and parents to chat to each other in social school hours, making the distance learning process easier for everyone involved.
Some schools have been using both Milk and Google Classroom to aid in the distance learning experience. This works by Google Classroom being used to upload work but using Milk to track and enforce its completion. So, although Google Classroom has some benefits, the communication features of within Milk are more viable than Googles.
The Milk communication features make the remote learning process work coherently. For teachers to be able to deliver successful online lessons and set homework through video call, they need a system that enables teachers and school leaders to see what communications parents and students are actually engaging with. With all data stored conveniently on the Milk system, it is easy to find and track students work, and the process is made much simpler.
How is distance learning difference from in-person learning?
Distance learning has its similarities and difference to regular in-person learning. There are very few negatives to remote learning, and the most common one is the restriction of not being able to discipline students the same way if they were in school physically. If they were in school physically, they can be put into a detention or sent outside the classroom. However, whilst delivering an online lesson the only viable discipline would be to mute the disruptive student or remove them from the video call.
However, the positives outweigh the negative in the case of distance learning. Distance learning allows both the teacher and the student to have more freedom. Learning from home is preferable for some students as they can be in the comfort of their own home, away from any distractions that a classroom full of peers might bring. It also reduces the need for students and teachers to travel into school, meaning more time can be spent learning.
Distance learning is also a great way to help students self-motivate. This is a skill that will translate well if a student decides to go to university. When at university you have to manage your own time, and you will be required to do a lot of independent work outside of university hours. So, if a child is required to some distance learning at high school, this will prepare them for the learning structure of university.
Distance learning and the future
For sixth formers in particular, the thought of going back to a classroom to learn all day when they finish school can be off putting. However, over recent years distance learning has become more of a viable alternative.
Thanks to sophisticated communication systems such as Milk (My Interactive Learning Kit) and video learning platforms, remote learning is becoming the number one choice for school leavers.
The concept of distance learning is favourable as you get older and have more responsibilities. Learning in this way is a flexible approach, and if you have children or work full-time, distance learning allows you to work around these duties.
If you are a full-time parent or work in an office all day, getting into the classroom physically would be an impossible task. However, distance learning makes education inclusive for everyone who have other responsibilities during the day.
It is also inclusive to those who have a mental health issue or a physically disability. These people may feel like a traditional learning environment is too overwhelming or inaccessible. Distance learning eliminates any feelings of anxiety regarding leaving the house, as you can study wherever is the most comfortable and convenient for you.
Often, distance learning programmes and courses are not constricted to the usual term dates and deadlines that most institutes are. This means you can start whenever you are ready, and you can wait for when the moment it right for you.
Distance learning courses are usually cheaper too, this means distance learning educators can create a range or unique courses that might not be available within a traditional learning institute. Therefore, a huge advantage of distance learning is the ability to develop new skills that are not available within traditional settings.
As digital distance learning courses are much cheaper to deliver, it also means it’s cheaper for the person taking part in the course, again making it a more accessible option for a wide range of people.
So, with distance learning being a more accessible option for many, it is likely this way of learning is only going to become more popular in the future. Also, since the Covid-19 outbreak there will be many people who feel uneasy about going into a normal education setting with a classroom full of people, and therefore, the prospect of remote learning is more attractive to a wide range of people.
With educational platforms such as Milk (My Interactive Learning Kit) constantly improving their communication systems, remote learning is only going to get better and better.
If you are a teacher interested in learning more about inclusive distance learning, book a Zoom demo with one of the Milk team.