Pros and Cons of online lessons with kids

Pros and Cons of online lessons with kids

For many teachers, online tutoring is still something vague and ambiguous. Lots of those who haven’t tried teaching online do not know how they can do it, what are advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to kids.

I’ll cover some of the main pluses and minuses below.

Advantages

  • No travelling, safe and comfortable

Parents and you, as a teacher, do not have to spend time travelling around the city, commuting as they can study and you can teach at home. Everything they need is a computer and an Internet connection. 

Moreover, it’s safe as they are at home and parents do not worry if their children have come to the language courses or come back home.

In addition, we all know stress impedes the learning process. For children, it’s quite important to feel comfortable and happy. When children study online, they are in the environment they know, they feel comfortable at home, so the stress level is lower.

  • Control

When children study offline, teachers need to spend time on checking homework, tests, preparing materials, talking to parents, explaining the results, doing lots of paperwork, etc. Parents have to call the teacher or come to know the results, they have to check if the child has done homework. Teaching online you can avoid all that. For example, on Vimbox, homework is checked automatically (only production skills tasks, speaking and writing, are checked by a tutor); materials are ready to use, you only need to go through them to prepare. Parents can always log in and see what the topic their child is studying now, how they’ve done homework, what’s their progress and so on. No paperwork for you, as all the results, answers, progress bars are automatically saved too.

  • Interactive

You don’t need to cut out cards for every lesson or make copies for each student. You know, when you teach kids you have to prepare lots of stuff. All the materials online can be used over and over again and the tasks are gamified and interactive. Moreover, you can customise each task for different learners.

  • A wider range of materials and resources

When you teach offline, you have limited resources in the classroom: flashcards, pictures,  coursebooks, everything you’ve prepared. However, when you teach online, you can easily access all the materials from the Internet. For example, you need to clarify a word and you do not have a picture for that offline, you can just google and show it online. You can find an online game, video, cartoon and other infinite marvels of the internet to give students more practice with the target language. And it’s much quicker and easily accessible. In addition, coursebooks become old-fashioned quickly and teaching online gives you an opportunity to keep up with the time and use advanced materials. 

  • Easy access

It’s easier both for you and your students and their parents to reach each other: to inform about something, to send extra materials, to ask questions, etc. 

  • No limits

When you teach online, there are no cities and even countries limitations.  You can have learners from all over the world, as a result, it provides you with more opportunities and you won’t have “season problems” that are typical for offline language courses or schools. Furthermore, you create your own schedule and place of work, it’s more flexible comparing with offline language courses: you choose when and who you want to teach. 

Disadvantages

  • Place

Although you can teach anywhere you can find a computer and a good Internet connection, you still need an appropriate workplace that is tidy and not noisy. For example, cafes are too crowded for teaching. Furthermore, when you teach kids you still need some realia around, for example, to clarify vocabulary. And you need a place to do TPR activities or some physical activities which are of high importance when you teach children.

  • Internet

You have to make sure your Internet connection is stable, otherwise, you may have troubles during the lesson and that might look awkward. Especially it’s terrible when you teach children as you “lose” their attention and it’s quite difficult to get it back.

  • Attention

We all know that one of the most difficult parts of teaching young learners is attracting, catching their attention. It’s even more difficult to do this online. You need to be quite creative and imaginative to think of new methods every time as you cannot “physically” get a student.

  • No kinaesthetic experiences

Teaching online you cannot use tasks that include such tasks as “touch” or “smell” and guess what it is. We know that kinaesthetic experience is one of the most crucial for children. Unfortunately, you are lack of that online.

  • Focus

When children are in class, they are focused as there’s a working atmosphere. In contrast, when they are at home, they can be distracted by siblings, pets, toys, etc.

These are the main pluses and minuses of online teaching.

I hope now the pros and cons are clearer for you and it is easier to decide what’s better. 


Наринэ Егорова

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