Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Education for Basic Education

distance learning

With the covid-19 pandemic, distance education became part of basic training. Until then, the country had no significant experience in distance education for children and young people, so it had to adhere to the practice in an emergency.

Widely used in higher education, it can be said that distance education is at its best. If in the past the quality of learning was questioned, today institutions have technologies that guarantee great learning results.

But to what extent is it possible to work with distance education in basic education? Is it possible to teach children remotely? What are the educational guidelines for distance learning in basic education?

To check the answers to these and other questions, continue reading our article!

What is Distance Learning?

Distance education is a teaching modality in which the mediation of learning takes place through technological resources. Without the need for a physical environment, classrooms or a campus, EaD allows for greater mobility and lower costs.

Although the concept of online distance education is something recent, the first EaD experiences emerged a long time ago, with courses carried out through correspondence.

It was with the process of digitalization of education and the development of new Digital Information and Communication Technologies (TDICs) that distance learning became popular and gained strength, mainly for professional training and higher education.

Hybrid Teaching and Distance Education

Basic education is constantly on the move. Since 1996, with the implementation of the LDB, until today, educators can notice a greater speed in changes and the adoption of new methodologies more suited to the profile of students in the 21st century.

There are many factors that influence this, but none are as impactful as technological advances. The internet, digital information and communication technologies and smartphones have changed the way we consume information in and out of school.

Given this fact, institutions across the country have adopted hybrid education as an alternative to working with distance learning in basic education.

Combining virtual learning moments with face-to-face meetings in schools, hybrid teaching promotes the protagonism of the student, who becomes responsible for their own learning with the support of teachers and tutors.

The trends for basic education in the post-pandemic point to an even greater presence of hybrid teaching in schools. With blended classes and online activities, basic education will go through a period of change.

virtual courses

Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Education in Basic Training

Advantages of Distance Education

We selected some advantages of distance learning to compare and evaluate the effective gains of practice in the teaching-learning process. Let’s meet them.

  • Flexibility – the student can follow classes anywhere with internet access.
  • Customized schedules – Studies can take place outside school hours, when the student needs it.
  • Less social pressure – The virtual environment is less conducive to issues such as bullying and harassment, and students can learn with less anxiety about peer judgment.
  • Learning pace dictated by the student – the student advances at their own pace, preventing the performance of the class from being influenced.
  • Less distraction – at home, students can focus better without interference from outside distractions in the school environment.
  • Customized content – courses can be customized according to the student, their goals and personal tastes.
  • Multimedia communication – with the help of digital media, the exchange of information and clarification of doubts between student and teacher takes place in various formats, by text, audio, video, etc.
  • Class Control – In an online classroom, the teacher can have more control over conversation and distractions, with a quieter environment by having microphones turned off.
  • Varied and interactive activities– In distance learning, there is also the possibility of working with synchronous classes and asynchronous activities in activities that use active learning methodologies, such as TBL and PBL .
  • Benefits of digital platforms – Virtual learning environments have several features that make learning even more dynamic and fun. In addition, through individual monitoring of digital tutoring and questions on duty , students gain personalized service.

Disadvantages of Distance Education

Distance learning faces significant challenges to gain space in basic education. Although it has good results when applied to adults, the profile of children requires more dedicated monitoring and teacher intervention.

We list 12 disadvantages that distance learning presents in comparison to on-site teaching.

  • Parental supervision – For younger children, there is a need for monitoring by parents or guardians, who need to be at home during class.
  • Attention Demand – Some students have learning difficulties and demand more attention, which can be challenging through a screen. In this case, proposals for pedagogical intervention may be necessary.
  • Too many screens – Screen light can damage the eyes, so it’s important that remote activities also take place offline.
  • Private tutoring cost – Especially when there is more than one child at home, or when parents need to go out to work, distance learning may require hiring private tutors.
  • Impaired sociability – The social interaction that comes with face-to-face school is reduced. It is important to find other social activities for students, such as sports, art, music, etc.
  • Community interaction – Without face-to-face meetings, the sense of community is shaken, which impacts the students’ social formation.
  • Activity Structure – Not all students have access to the same materials at home, and some activities require a hands-on, interactive approach to learning.
  • Internet access – Digital inclusion is a challenge. In this sense, public policies that make technology accessible are great allies of education.
  • Mobility Challenges – Need to stay in one place for long periods during synchronous classes.
  • Motivation to Watch Class – Without proper supervision, less motivated students can leave class online and engage in other activities such as watching youtube videos, playing video games, chatting with friends.
  • Space and silence – At home, students may not have adequate space to study, quiet and calm to concentrate on tasks.
  • Food and physical security – For children in vulnerable situations, school is the safest place. They may be in abusive homes, or they may need lunch to eat properly.