Can online education replace schools?

1. How is online school education going?

There are several types of online school education. First of all, it is an individual and collective form. In addition, there is asynchronous training (that is, students send completed assignments and receive feedback, but they do not have a clear study schedule). According to a study of the Russian market of online education and educational technologies, the growth rate in this area will decrease in the coming years.

Online education is built on the same principles as classical. Homework and classwork, interaction with the teacher, grades - all the same, but only without desks, school uniforms and portfolios. For example, in the British online school Harrow School Online, the burden on students is no less and no more than in the "normal": they study as much as in a traditional private school. That is, a day for five hours of basic and two hours of extracurricular activities, as well as additional classes in the form of personal communication with a personal mentor. Seven forty-five-minute lessons are held in each subject per week, of which two are in a group of 10-12 students live with a teacher.

2. Are there really no differences from the traditional training system?

Of course have! Here are a few basic ones:

Flexible study schedule. Perhaps this is one of the main advantages of the online school. This is especially convenient for young athletes, musicians and actors who do not fit the standard lesson schedule.

More opportunities for gifted children. If in a “regular” school they are forced to engage in a pace common to all, then with online training they can work in an individual rhythm, ahead of classmates.A comfortable environment for students with disabilities. The correspondence format provides a wider choice of schools, because far from all educational institutions provide for the possibility of inclusive education.

Development of independence. Pupils devote more time to self-study on materials developed by professional educators. Thanks to this, students learn to approach the matter consciously and responsibly, not “from under the stick”. These skills will be useful to them in adulthood.

Educational online projects are good primarily because they erase any geographical boundaries. While at home or in the park with a laptop, we learn foreign languages, acquire programming, yoga or gardening skills, learn to embroider or draw, change professions, receive diplomas from international universities or go through advanced training ... Our children can now go to a foreign school without moving at the same time to another country. All this gives freedom of choice, which in the coming decades will become almost limitless!

3. What are the prospects for online education?

For most Russians, distance learning is still a curiosity, but every year it is becoming more popular. Today, the turnover of the Russian online education market is growing faster than in most countries - by 20-30% per year (compared with 5-30% in the world). In addition to Russia, the rapid growth of educational online sites is observed in Southeast Asia. Not surprisingly, it was there that in recent years there has been a digital “boom”.

Interestingly, the most popular of all educational platforms are language courses: their share in the market turnover is 69%. Behind them by a large margin (10%) are followed by schools for the development of leadership skills and personal growth. 8% of the turnover goes to vocational training, 6% - to courses in psychology and related disciplines. The sites offering the help of tutors make up only 3% of the market turnover. Another 2% goes to fitness and beauty training, as well as sites devoted to needlework and other hobbies.

According to researchers, distance learning will gain momentum in the coming years. By 2021, the market share of online education in USA will be 2.6%. Courses of secondary vocational education (10.9%), foreign languages (10.7%) and additional school education (6.8%) will come to the fore.

As for digital trends, the future of education lies in the gamification and virtual and augmented reality technologies. And there are really many possibilities: for example, the Historical Museum of Chicago and the Chicago Institute have released an application that allows you to see how many years ago the place where the user was located looked like. And Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic created a three-dimensional environment for the study of anatomy.

Another interesting trend: experts say that more and more people are in no hurry to finish their studies after graduation and become "eternal students." The concept of continuing education is now more popular than ever.

4. Does the level of education drop with distance learning?

Much depends on the school, as with traditional teaching. If we are talking about education at an international level, then its quality does not change depending on the format. But the opportunity to study remotely expands the boundaries and allows you to get a diploma of a European or American institution without leaving the country and without leaving family and friends. This is especially important for children and school graduates, whose parents are still afraid to let go in free swimming.

Let us turn to the results of the experiment. Pearson initiated a study by comparing learning outcomes from traditional and online math and English schools in the United States. This is one of the most advanced countries in the field of school distance education, there such practice has existed since the 2000s. As a result of the study, scientists came to the conclusion that the effectiveness of training in an online school is not lower than in a traditional one.

Moreover, the online format makes it possible for an individual approach to each student. The teacher monitors the progress of the wards on the dashboard and can help in time if necessary. In the classical system of education, students are sometimes “blown away” for the entire class, whose names begin with the first letters of the alphabet, and some children manage to sit in the back row for weeks. With distance learning, this is impossible: the teacher pays an equal amount of attention to everyone, so all students have an incentive to work.

5. But what about communication with classmates, circles and sections?

Students are divided into classes and faculties in which they socialize and make friends. Many events and hobby clubs migrated to the Internet environment along with the schools themselves: writing, chess, choir ... They are held online during extracurricular hours. As for the sports sections - students can visit them in their city


Originally published May 2, 2019