Online Education

Advantages and disadvantages of online courses after their forced march into practice

The 2021-2022 school year begins, just like the previous one, in uncertainty. With its usual accompaniment of fears: new variants, health measures, the risk of imprisonment… So it is also time for the first evaluations. The focus is on online education, which has been so hyped since the 1990s and is finally being put into practice on a large scale. “Since the start of the pandemic, educational institutions around the world have had to go online quickly, sometimes within days. Many – not all – have adapted somehow,” explains Sidney Taurel, president of the British group Pearson, a world unit in educational publishing, in a complete mutation towards accurate online education.

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Digital tools and platforms, at least when available, have saved the educational furniture. Without them, two school years would be completely sacrificed at the expense of the entire young generation. Only in 2020“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a series of school closures around the world lasting an average of fifteen weeks”, according to UNESCO, which is concerned, with Unicef, “generational disaster”. It is considerable. Vocational education also has accumulated days of closure. “The crisis has significantly accelerated distance learning practices to ensure continuity of education against the background of massive use of remote work. However, this development was painful, often with a forced march for training organizations that were not prepared., noted Aurélia Bollé, general delegate of the Forum of Actors of Digital Education (FFFOD). Called to rescue “e-learning”, under its Anglo-Saxon name, suddenly went from optional to mandatory. The students managed to get the equipment out of the game, but those who didn’t fell out. Overview of strengths and weaknesses.

Good equipment needed

First observation, the success cases depended closely on the digital experience and dedication of the teachers. “It didn’t surprise me, Marion, CP teacher in Châteauroux (Indre) testifies. Because the media I use on a daily basis are mostly digitized and usable from home. Good distance learning courses also require a good internet connection, latest computer, scanner, unlimited mobile plan to call families… Which is not the case for all teachers. » Online educational resources did not wait for the closure, which many teachers will use and free themselves from classic textbooks. For example, the Canotech digital toolbox of the Canopé public network is a goldmine for educators, as is the Eduscol portal of the Ministry of National Education. There is also the Coué method.

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