It is no secret that online learning dominated the education world in 2020, and we are beginning to see greater importance on online learning in 2022. From grade school to grad school, students worldwide have experienced some form of online education in the past two years. While there are so many benefits to online learning, there are still some myths, misconceptions, half-truths, and downright cliché’s floating around the internet about online learning. Suppose you’re still unsure of whether online learning is worthwhile. In that case, I am here to debunk all the negativity surrounding online learning because, yes… it is worth it!
Myth #1: I Will Be Taught by YouTube
While online learning does involve a lot of videos, this is not the only way you will be learning! The learning process has so many factors to ensure our students receive a top-notch education. Students are not a “one size fits all” model, and no one understands this more than teachers. Like an in-person classroom, online learning incorporates different learning styles to accommodate all students and their needs throughout the program. So, while videos are great for visual and auditory learners, textbooks or online technical labs are great for reading and kinesthetic learners.
Myth # 2: I Will Not Get the Same Support as in Person
Schools, even online ones, are created with an entire department dedicated to the support and success of students. The only difference is that students can send an email to the staff instead of walking directly into an office and asking for help. In most cases, online schools are more responsive to students because they understand how crucial online communication is. Students can also call into the office or schedule one-on-one meetings through zoom with an office administrator.
Myth #3: Teachers are Faceless and Inaccessible
This myth is mind-boggling! Wouldn’t online instructors be more readily available since the “classroom,” aka the Microsoft Teams, and their email is more accessible? Technology, and in specific, smartphones and computers, were designed for the sole purpose of connecting people to one another. It has been reported that roughly 6.4 billion people in this world are smartphone users. Therefore almost 80% of people living on this planet have tiny electronic devices in their pocket that keep them connected. While instructors are not on-call every hour of the day, they are more alert and aware of their students trying to communicate with them. Teachers prioritize this means of connecting because it is their primary way of connecting! Also, with technology constantly developing, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype are more advanced than ever before, making personal interactions online easier.
Myth #4 Online Certificates are Worth Less than In-Person Certificates
Since its invention, technology has been changing all aspects of life, and education is no exception. Even before the pandemic, top universities like Harvard, the University of London, and the National University of Singapore, were offering online courses because they understood the value of online learning. Online certificates have been offered for a while now, and therefore, they are widespread and no stranger to employers. In fact, online certificates not only demonstrate your education but also demonstrate your skills in computer literacy, online communication, and basic understanding of software and hardware networks.
Myth # 5 Online Instructors Teach Online because They Can’t Get In-Person Jobs
Just because the instructor teaches online does not mean they did not go through the same education or complete the exact same requirements as an in-person instructor. There are many reasons why instructors teach online, and none of which is because the instructor is “not good enough.” In many cases, online instructors double as in-person instructors depending on the institution, the class sizes, and the demand from students. Other reasons might include, but are not limited to the flexibility, the environment, the personal interactions, the efficiency, the wealth of technology at their fingertips.
Although the online learning experience might be a little different (and to some people, drastically different) than the traditional understanding of school and education, the foundation of education is still there. Online learning still works to provide students with the education, support, skills, and personal development necessary to achieve their full potential and set them up for success in the future.