The Difference Between Classroom Teaching and e-Teaching

*Collaborative Post*

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on schools. Millions of kids have been stuck at home for months, with teachers forced to conduct lessons over e-learning platforms. Experts believe that the pandemic, followed by the global lockdown of schools and other learning institutions, will have caused enormous interruption to student learning, especially in low-income areas.

But what alternative do teachers have? It’s still not clear whether it is safe to re-open schools in September, especially for younger year groups where social distancing is very difficult to implement. If schools don’t reopen, teachers will have no choice but to continue teaching virtual lessons. It’s not ideal, but there are some merits to e-teaching, so let’s take a look at how the two differ.

Traditional Classroom Teaching

Most teachers are used to teaching kids in a traditional classroom. Children sit at desks and the teacher stands at the front of the classroom, talking to the entire class. There is plenty of scope for pupils to ask questions and for the teacher to walk around, talking to the pupils, or checking work.

E-Teaching in a Virtual Classroom

Virtual teaching is very different in many ways. Each child sits at home in front of a computer screen and keyboard. Teachers typically use e-learning platforms or applications like Zoom to deliver lessons. Pupils can see each other in small windows and lessons take place in real-time.

The Key Differences

The biggest downside of e-learning is the lack of social interaction. School is not just about learning – it’s where kids make friends. Lessons are an interactive experience for both teachers and pupils. Kids know when it’s okay to ask questions, and ‘face time’ is all part of the process. If a child needs some one-on-one time, all they have to do is wait until the lesson ends.

A virtual classroom is very different. It could be the child’s bedroom or a corner of their living room – depending on their living arrangements. Not all kids benefit from virtual lessons. Many find it hard to stay focused when they have many more exciting things to be doing outside, especially when the weather is glorious.

Discipline is much easier to maintain in a traditional classroom. A stern look or sharp rebuke is often enough, but disruptive pupils can also be removed from the classroom. In a virtual learning environment, it’s much harder to keep children focused on the tasks at hand. Teachers can’t ask kids to sit and read a textbook for 30 minutes and then listen to a lecture – if a lesson is boring, kids will simply switch off and start doing other things.

Luckily, the latest EdTech has made life a lot easier for beleaguered teachers struggling to keep their classes focused during lockdown. Cloud based EdTech like classroom.cloud is an easy-to-use management and teaching platform for schools. This type of cloud based EdTech has some innovative features – if a teacher feels a child off task, they can blank their screen or bring them to attention 1:1. Teachers can also control web access and block certain applications during lessons.

It’s essential that teachers learn how to adapt to the current new normal. Whilst there are many differences, online learning and traditional classroom-based learning are also similar in many ways. Ultimately, it comes down to the skill of the teacher.

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