Even though school is over for the year, it’s still uncertain how schooling will go in the fall. Some states and districts have a plan in place, while others are likely going to stay remote for at least the end of the year. The shift has been hard on a lot of working parents. But, knowing that we’re all in this together truly does help.
It may have been jarring at first, but there are also a lot of positive aspects of distance learning. The problem is, you were likely too stressed out to acknowledge them at the time, especially since the change-over happened so quickly.
Here are some of the many benefits of distance learning.
1. There’s no commute.
Distance learning and remote working have one big thing in common — there’s no commute. That means you save on gas money and also don’t have to constantly worry about a school bus arriving on time and in one piece. It also gives you a little leeway every morning. If your child is running a little late that day, it’s not the end of the world. And if you’re typically responsible for transportation, it’s almost like you’ve been granted extra time in your day.
2. Students won’t forget any studying materials.
With work and resources digitized, they’ll always have access to everything they need — that means, they don’t have to lug heavy backpacks around quite as much. Having everything available on platforms online will help keep them organized. And as a bonus, they’ll be able to learn how to navigate these resources on their own.
3. They can use a digital whiteboard for many of their assignments.
Having a digital whiteboard handy will help them out, especially when it comes to sharing documents and conversing with the class over Zoom. Being able to see the rest of the class on such a wide screen might keep them more focused and alert on the lesson itself.
4. It can be ideal if you’ve got a different work schedule.
If you had an opposite work schedule from your child’s school schedule, this arrangement frees both of you up a little more. Sometimes, it’s a nice break to have an atypical structure. It might not be the most rewarding time, with school and work taking over, but it’s better than nothing.
5. Parents can get to know their student’s classmates, or at least be able to put a face to a name.
If your child has a very wide friend group, you might not have been able to meet them all just yet. But if you get to casually sit in on a digital study session, you’ll be more aware of what’s going on in your child’s social life.
6. By occasionally checking in, parents also have the ability to see what their kids are learning about.
Some children can be very chatty about their school day. Others, not so much. By being able to listen in on particular lectures, parents can turn the information learned into meaningful conversations, furthering their learning experience. It’s important for parents to show interest in what their kids are learning about.
7. Being able to interact with people digitally may be a plus for students with social anxiety.
According to Arizona State University, approximately 15 million Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder, or SAD. A lot of these cases start around the time a child is 13. “Education is not ‘one size fits all.’ There are alternatives to traditional school whether a child is struggling academically, physically, or mentally,” they write. “For students who experience social anxiety, online school may be a viable option.” By chatting through text and video, students may be able to feel more confident in their interactions and perform much better.
8. If an older student needs to work, it gives them more opportunities.
Some kids need to work to help provide for their family. However, they still need to make sure they finish school. With distance learning, being able to balance both is a little easier. While education is important, it’s also vital to realize that many adults lost their jobs due to the virus and are struggling to pay the bills right now. Every bit helps.
9. It’s a great way to stay safe.
While it’s been proven many times that masks help slow down the spread, social distancing is also an important way to stay safe. With distance learning, you’re showing your child’s teacher that you value their health. It’s also a more comfortable way to learn. School settings are typically wonderful, but expecting all students to wear masks throughout the full course of the school day may be a tough ask.
10. It’ll help prepare students to work from home one day.
Working remotely has even more benefits — for one, adults can work on home projects while also staying connected to their team in the office. A lot of people are choosing to work from home even after their spaces have reopened, just because it’s more convenient. When your child grows up, they may also end up working from home. Having them practice the art of staying motivated and productive at a young age is great practice for the future.
Distance learning may take some time to adjust to, but it really does have a lot of perks. With the amount of technology we have, connecting to each other is a breeze. It’s hard to beat face-to-face interactions, but video chats are a very close second.