The importance of online education is undeniable, especially in the scenario we are currently in the covid-19 outbreak. The ability to maintain social interaction in an online learning environment is critical to the future of the education sector. A Dutch study conducted in 2017* additionally found that online education greatly decreases the carbon impact of student and staff travel. This is an important perspective for our world today, where looking to reduce your carbon footprint in any way and living sustainably is key to our planet’s survival. Between the impact of the current pandemic and the environmental state of emergency, the need for online education is significantly increasing across the boards.

Global pandemic aside, online teaching also provides flexibility and accessibility for both the teacher and learner: in setting their own pace of classes and time scheduling around their lives. It provides a better balance for work and home life and builds on time management skills. Not to mention, teachers and students can be at anywhere in the world- whether from the comfort of their own home or travelling over a period of time (just make sure you bring your ethernet cable). The accessibility also means that even if you work from home, your commute is completely removed, which decreases your carbon footprint, but in my personal case, also increases my happiness. In my mind, there’s nothing worse than waking up into London’s grey skies, and having to propel your body out into the cold way sooner than it was ready for: only to sit on a bus/train/tube with other strained, tired faces; everything is dull and grey. Working from home means life is as colourful as I want it to be. So, my life is a rainbow even on the darkest winter day. What I’m saying is that you are in much more control of your experience within online education, whether as the student or teacher, you are the only one who could get in the way of a positive experience. Technical difficulties come with the territory, but overcoming them provides you with confidence in yourself to get through difficult modern situations. The lack of commute also decreases my pandemic-related anxiety because I’m not having to subject myself to public transport at peak times (and while this may seem small, it’s pretty much life-changing). Among other things, the ability to wake up early and have a cup of tea and simply sit without checking my watch for the time every five minutes, knowing I am where I’m meant to be, is a blessing in life.

Personally, I really enjoy the autonomy that online education provides me with, as both a teacher and learner. I’m able to live a more stable life as my time management skills have actually strengthened, and my days have become more structured. Online education actually builds on self-discipline and adaptive skills, in a way that focuses the individual on personal growth, rather than competition with peers, etc. As mentioned previously, you do become the only person in your own way. And that is ultimately, extremely freeing rather than limiting.

Article Written By Rosanna Pires @ The Overseas Teacher