Online learning is the top alternative to in-person schooling and has a number of potential advantages. Students who learn online can learn at their own pace, work more on the elements that interest them, and have more time for activities and interests outside the school day. Also, many parents love having their students at home, where they can be more involved in their education. However, online learning does not come without some challenges. Of course, we’re here to help. Take a look at the top challenges for online learners and how to overcome them.
Challenge #1: Distraction
Distraction can be a serious challenge for many online learners. There’s siblings, parents and pets all around. The TV is just a short distance away. Outside is calling. Outside the carefully-designed classroom environment, many children face these potential distractions. Both parents and students, however, can take several key steps to reduce distraction and get learning back on track. Create a specific space for learning. Design a learning routine that focuses on school during the school day. Allow specific time for breaks. Turn off extra electronics, including television or phones, in the learning space. Avoid social media, game sites, and other distractions during the school day. Parents may also need to carefully monitor online learners throughout the day to ensure that they do not fall into distraction.
Challenge #2: Inaccessible Materials
Getting access to virtual class materials is nearly always a breeze. But there are rare times where it’s a challenge. Links break. Packets get lost. Parents may not have all the tools students need to complete their assignments at home. Inaccessible materials can make it very difficult for students to keep up with online lesson requirements. To help, parents may want to access materials before students actually need them. Parents may also want to consider ensuring that they have an alternative method for accessing the internet in case of outages and other challenges.
Challenge #3: Lack of Motivation
Some students simply aren’t motivated by sitting behind a screen. Younger students may have even more trouble staying motivated when they aren’t able to connect directly, in person, with teachers and peers. Parents, however, can aid substantially in increasing motivation for online learners. They can work closely with their children, providing them with praise and incentives for completing assignments. Utilizing a variety of content delivery methods, including strategies that take kids offline, can also help improve student motivation.
Challenge #4: Loneliness/Lack of Social Engagement
Online learning can seem like a lonely journey. But in reality: it’s not. Friendship Online Academy provides countless ways for students and families to connect and socially engage with each other. For school, students regularly receive live support and instruction and interact with teachers and their peers in a live setting. They’re raising their hands and asking questions, just as they would in a normal classroom. In Friendship Online’s “Check and Connects,” students can appear virtually — or in-person at a designated space on campus — to collaborate, ask questions or just have fun with one another. This allows them to take a break or just get away from home for awhile. FOA also regularly hosts in-person social events for all online students: Hot Dog Socials, Ice Skating, Food Truck Tests, etc. Lastly, all of our online students can participate in all of our IN-PERSON clubs or activities: like our sports teams, chess club, robotics, dancing — whatever the student is interested in.
Online learning is an incredible opportunity for many students and their families. Having the right tools, tips and strategies at their disposal — and choosing the right school — can make a huge difference in their overall success. Check out Friendship Online Academy to learn more about how it can benefit your student.