I have read a lot about how online teaching isn’t as good as classroom teaching. I myself agree that this is the case however I have come to realise that I have fallen into the generalisation trap. I have bought into a simple argument that online teaching is either better or worse than real life, classroom, teaching, that there is a binary judgement to be made and that the world, in this case, is simple. The world however isn’t simple and is seldom binary. The line should read that online teaching isn’t generally as good as in real life teaching.
So, what brought me to this realisation?
I have seen some students absolutely excel in remote lessons, and not students who were previously excelling, but students who were struggling. I am not sure if it is the added independence they have found online teaching has provided, the lack of peer pressure or something else, but they have excelled in terms of work rate, engagement and work quality. Clearly for these students online teaching works better than teaching in a classroom. These are the students who prove the assertion as fact, that “online teaching isn’t as good as real-life teaching” to be false.
Here for me lies the challenge as we move forward; How can we take these successes and translate them to the world of education as it will exist once we return to a semblance of normal, post pandemic? How do we make sure that the students who have gained from online teaching, who find online teaching suits their needs, don’t lose out when we return to the bricks and mortar classroom?