5 Tips for Overcoming Technological Challenges in Online Learning
Most Gen Z and Gen Alpha grew up with technology so it’s relatively easy for them to navigate online learning. However, despite this, students still face some tech challenges in online learning, which affect the quality of their studies.
Senior high school students can maximize their education better when they are aware of the potential technological challenges that come with online learning, how to overcome them, and why it’s important to manage these challenges.
Technological Challenges of Online Learning
Students enjoy greater flexibility with online school vs traditional school, but online learning is not always perfect. Before you can address the technological challenges that may arise in online learning, you must be aware of them first. What are the challenges of using technology in learning?
Poor Internet Connection at Home
Learning online requires a lot of data bandwidth since students need to download or access materials online, communicate with peers and teachers through various platforms, watch online videos, or attend online classes.
A student’s ability to access these materials and platforms is directly dependent on their Internet connection. A slow connection at home prevents them from accessing materials and classes smoothly, thus disrupting their concentration.
Overall, a slow or unstable connection may slow down a student’s studying process, which can take a toll on their productivity.
Poor Utility of Learning Tools
Online schools typically use a combination of learning tools and platforms to create a holistic and seamless learning environment for all students. Students may be expected to use the school’s online platform to keep track of classes, learning materials, and deadlines; but they may attend classes via Zoom or Google Classroom, and then communicate through other messaging apps.
With a lot on their plate, students may struggle to navigate the platforms and tools. Accessing materials and other tasks may become inefficient. Students may also be unaware of features that could help them in their studies.
Sparse or Unclear Communication
Clear communication is one of the technical challenges in online learning. Students and teachers have limited options to communicate, and most conversations are done through messages – posts, comments, or personal messages.
Teachers may need to use different platforms to get the message across. They may also need to communicate more often with parents to ensure that students can keep up with the lessons.
Difficulty Maintaining Concentration
Maintaining focus during classes is a quintessential challenge for students regardless of where they are, but this challenge becomes more difficult at home. There may be too many distractions at home that are difficult to tune out, such as the television, video games, their phone, siblings, or even the bed.
Moreover, students likely associate the home with relaxation and playing after school, so taking classes at home may make it difficult for them. Additional support may be necessary to make the home more conducive to studying.
Online classes involve sitting in front of a computer for hours. Most students’ tendency is to lean forward or hunch down, especially if their desk setup is not ergonomic. Poor posture may lead to back pain, headaches, and muscle strain.
Body pain affects the quality of life and sleep, which has a negative effect on the student’s concentration and cognitive performance. Body pain from poor posture may lead to a loss of motivation to study, which is why it is also important to set up an ergonomic workstation in preparation for online classes.
How to Overcome Tech Challenges in Online Learning
If you or your child is starting online senior high school in the Philippines, you can expect to experience one or two of these challenges. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help with overcoming tech challenges in online learning.
Allot Time to Explore Platforms
Expect that online classes will require the use of multiple learning platforms like Google Classroom or Blackboard. To make learning smoother, take some time to discover the platforms and their features. Familiarize yourself and the student with the platform’s interface so they can easily navigate it on their own.
By exploring the platforms ahead of time, students don’t need to spend additional time looking for what they need. They can allot all their time and brainpower to learning, not finding things in the learning platform.
Create an Environment Conducive to Learning
Although senior high school students are more mature, they can still get distracted easily. So, it is important to help set them up for success by creating an environment conducive to learning.
For one, setting up a space specifically for classes and studying can help them get into the right mindset. This space doesn’t have to be equipped with fancy gadgets. You can set up a desk in a corner of your home or their room, away from the TV or other distractions.
Parents and guardians can also be conscious of the noise around the house during classes to help students focus better on their studies.
Consider also making their station more ergonomic. For example, elevate the monitor to the student’s eye level, use a chair that’s tall enough so the elbow is at 90 degrees, and use a pillow for the back if a computer chair is not available. Simple changes like these can help make studying more comfortable.
Establish a Routine
Traditional schools provide students with a fixed routine, which online schools may not be able to provide or enforce, especially for asynchronous setups. This leaves the student’s success largely dependent on their discipline and motivation, which is also a challenge for most.
To overcome challenges in online learning like the lack of motivation and difficulties concentrating, parents can help their children set up a routine similar to a traditional school’s schedule. Schedule breaks as well in between classes and leave time for homework and play at the end of the day.
A routine acts as a guide for students so they know what will happen next. They don’t need to decide what class to focus on next, they can simply proceed and thus, save time and energy. This also helps minimize distractions since they will not think about what they would rather do than study.
A routine also helps reinforce the habit of studying. With repetition, students get used to studying online so that they may eventually sustain concentration without guidance.
Poor Internet connection is a major challenge in the Philippines so parents, students, and teachers can expect connectivity issues every now and then. So, it’s best to have backups ready in case your connection or a gadget fails.
If possible, parents can purchase prepaid WiFi or use a smartphone as mobile hotspot if your usual Internet connection is slow or acts up.
It also helps to have the necessary apps downloaded onto a phone or a tablet so it is ready as an alternative for your child’s laptop or desktop.
Having backups ready allows students to jump back into their class or whatever task they’re doing with minimal disruptions.
Encourage Active Communication
It’s easy to feel isolated in online learning setups. Students watch a pre-recorded video and communicate only via forum posts or text files. Some students may feel like their only choice is to figure out the lessons and assignments on their own.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Communication outside the classroom is also important, and in most cases, accessible. Teachers may set up livestreams to discuss topics or projects to allow students to ask questions and interact with other students.
Equally important is to encourage students to reach out to teachers and classmates through chats or other communication channels if they need help or to simply participate in discussions.
Active communication can allow students to help each other in overcoming technological challenges in online learning.
Partner with OEd in Overcoming Tech Challenges in Online Learning
How do technical issues affect online learning? These technical issues consume your child’s time and energy that they could have devoted to studying. They are distractions that interrupt your child’s learning, which could lead to them falling behind or losing motivation to study. This is why it is a must for parents and educators to find ways to overcome these tech challenges.
As one of the schools in the Philippines offering online education, OEd SHS makes it a point to support students to allow them to maximize online learning.
Leave us a message if you have further questions about online education.