Debate#8: Online Education is Detrimental to the Social and Academic Development of Children

Online education has been around for a long time. Because of the inaccessibility of things around us, it is now found everywhere. We need it more than ever before, whether in school, college, or our normal work. Most schools are willing to change with the times.

View: Here's why India needs to be future-ready in online education - The  Economic Times

This generation of kids being internet savvy uses e-learning for online classes and social learning. The tools used for online learning for kids promote learning and one-on-one interface with teachers. As children build social connections using technology, it the chances for the mental growth of kids. During these difficult times COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have served as a pillar of support for students. In addition, some schools offer both online and offline activities to help children develop.

Last Monday’s debate was about whether online education is detrimental to the social and academic development of children or not. It was presented by Britney, Kayla, and Colton on the agreeing side while Arkin, Kat, and Chris were on the disagreeing side. Both the team were very well prepared and presented their point of view impressively.

I believe that online learning opens up new windows of opportunity for everyone, but it’s not always impeccable.

Online school has more negative impacts than positive – The Sting

Negative impacts of online learning are seen in the technicality of the actual use of it. These impacts include how technology is not always efficient, it is harder for students to grasp concepts being taught, online learning can cause social isolation, and can cause students to not develop needed communication skills. Online school’s negative implications can easily be fixed through students coming physically to school. Factors that may determine how a student’s education fares during online learning include individual learning styles and the learning environment. The most common reasons children have struggled with the change from the classroom environment includes:

  • Digital inequity. The children who have struggled the most lack access to consistent high-speed internet service and a one-to-one device for online learning. Successful online learning isn’t possible without these technologies, and millions of students simply don’t have them.
  • Lack of structure. Many students perform best in a structured environment with a set routine. These students may be more distracted at home. They may skip assignments or class meetings, an action that can negatively impact online education. Many parents are working while their children engage in online learning. These families especially may struggle to offer the same level of structure at home that children get at school.
  • Decreased engagement. Many students struggle with the lack of face-to-face interaction with their teachers and peers during online learning. Teachers may not be able to tell which students are on task and which students need more support. Disengaged students may not participate in class discussions online, and if a whole class is disengaged, that makes for one quiet, unproductive class meeting.

Research shows that the school environment is critical for fostering academic motivation and social development, and many students rely on schools for mental health care. The physical distance between students and teachers due to the online learning environment has made it difficult for students to be able to connect with their teachers. When working online it is much harder to show teachers exactly what students are struggling to learn. Online education can lead to social isolation among students and instructors due to lack of social interaction.

“The e-learning methods currently practiced in education tend to make participating students undergo contemplation, remoteness, and a lack of interaction,”

Sander Tamm

Stress, lack of motivation and anxiety levels can rise as a result of a lack of human communication in a virtual classroom. Furthermore, students may not develop necessary communication skills as a result of online learning. Shown by these impacts, not being able to interact with other students and teachers during online school can lead to serious negative effects. 

However, Online education is the place where education and technology come together. It is the electronic mode of teaching and learning which enables the student to learn from anywhere. The form of online education varies from text, and animation to streaming videos and images. In order to prepare for this new environment of online education and to take advantage of its new opportunities, it is necessary to understand its contribution or its merits towards society.

Online Education

Hence I believe that technology and education are in a very interesting phase right now. It has left no stone unturned to reach millions across the globe. It is extending and reaching out to students to make learning affordable. It provides access to unlimited resources from anywhere. The impact of online classes will allow students to enhance their learning.

E-learning provides effective time management. It also motivates the students to learn. It has limitless possibilities and enhances academic performance. The online program can help us balance our career, family, and school obligations. It provides knowledge and learning to students, which makes learning seamless. But we all know that as the overlap of the traditional and online modes of education is becoming more and more inevitable, we owe it to our students to make their education relevant to their future through ingenuity, passion, and careful planning.

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6 thoughts on “Debate#8: Online Education is Detrimental to the Social and Academic Development of Children

  1. Fasiha,

    Awesome blog post! You really fleshed out all the arguments in this debate and brought them to life. Well done.

  2. When you say “I believe that technology and education are in a very interesting phase right now” I totally agree! However, I wonder if all stones are being turned over globally, or if some education technology advancements in more developed countries create an even larger divide between developing countries?
    Great blog post! Good read. Thanks!

    • Hello Dalton, I totally agree with you that educational advancement in developed countries is creating a great digital divide between developing counties. As I belongs to a developing country and I can say there is a huge digital divide between develop and developing countries in educational advancement..
      Thankyou for your insightful comment !!

  3. Great post! It is important that we differentiate between covid style online learning and online learning where it is a choice by families/students and the teachers are prepared to implement those types of programs. I do like that you mentioned the overlap between traditional and online methods that seems to be increasing in popularity. I hope that we can stick to one or the other- and give families a choice. The mixing of the two at the same time that is happening in many places seems very stressful!

    • Totally agree with you, Brittney !! we should differentiate between Covid19 style online learning and online learning. as covid19 online learning style is not a choice for everyone. Online learning mode is a biggest means of the medium of education today. So I guess we should accept both ways (tradition or online) as a part of being in a digital world.

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