Hi there. In this education blog-style post, I do wonder if online distractions can be stopped for students. The idea behind this post is based from my Mathnasium online work. We do have an issue where students do nothing when the instructor is away. There is also instances where students do not have sound or video on. You never really know what the student is doing on their side.
Online As A Convienient Way To Connect
Online learning does offer many convienences in the education space. You can learn at the comfort at your own space, there are no annoying classmates to deal with in real life, not much worrying about bullies and the elimination of commute times.
Learning materials that are in digital form are easily transferable compared to written notes. Technological advances have made online learning a bit more engaging with the use of interactive tools for learning. These interactive tools include online whiteboards for colouring, typing, drawing, graphing and even math algebra.
But It Is Easier To Not Participate Online
There are cons when it comes to online learning for students. Students not showing themselves online is okay for privacy reasons but when the sound is off for a long time then that can be a problem. Sound and video being off for a long time can be from a tech issue, a washroom break, the student not being at the computer or the student ignoring the tutor or the teacher's lesson.
You never really know what is showing on the student's screen or what is happening on the other side. They could be doing some form of multitasking. Multitasking could be listening to the teacher plus one of:
- Chat Messaging
- Listening To Music (Not too bad But could be bad with interacting with a tutor)
- Watching Online Videos
- Texting or Playing With Phone
- Eating (Could be okay if student needs to eat)
Not Sure Of Tracking Devices
One solution I see in an attempt to stop or limit online distractions is to catch students being distracted online with the use of online tracking devices. I actually do not like this for privacy reasons. Although it is easier for students to get distracted online and not get caught, students have to be able to adapt and be able to learn in a more independent manner. Having young students learn independently is much more easier said than done. Many young students are in the growing phases of their lives. It is not that easy for young students to get used to keyboard usage, mouse usage, using the internet and using online tools for learning.
A student falling asleep in the classroom is comparable to a student being there in the online classroom but is messaging other people online or is on Youtube. Regardless of the learning format, there are students who will be disengaged or not care about learning some topics. If a student does not want to learn, there is not much you can do if it is in person or online.