Distance learning became the order of the day in the educational sector when the pandemic hit. It proved to be a suitable and convenient substitute for the traditional learning model when it bridged the gaps of the conventional learning system.
Distance learning connects a wide range of culturally diverse individuals in order to work on projects, documents, and assignments using tools like PDF editors. Students also learn how a PDF combiner and editor can help them edit and merge documents.
Although distance learning makes the educational process more effortless and boosts productivity, there are certain drawbacks.
Differences between distance learning and the traditional approach
In-person social interactions
The traditional learning model creates an atmosphere that distance learning cannot entirely match. It enables you to interact naturally with your peers and helps nurture your social skills.
Learning traditionally encourages discipline, fosters empathy for others, and makes it easier for your teacher to identify your weak areas. These things often get lost in traditional settings.
Doesn’t require computer literacy
Unlike distance learning, where computer literacy is mandatory, the traditional approach to education doesn’t require you to be tech-savvy.
The traditional approach saves you from the stress, cost, and time it’ll take to learn to navigate the various e-learning tools to collaborate with peers or edit text in PDF documents.
Less control over scheduling
As opposed to traditional learning, which requires you to attend lectures at a set time, distance learning provides you control over your schedule. Distance learning enables you to learn at your own pace, while the traditional model doesn’t allow that freedom.
With distance learning, you can quickly repeat lessons you didn’t comprehend, study on your own time, and access recordings of lectures you missed.
Distance learning helps you cut costs you would not have been able to forfeit while learning traditionally. With distance learning, you do not have to worry about student housing expenses, campus meal plans, transport, and gas.
What are the challenges of distance learning?
Distance learning does not suit every student
You assimilate information differently from your classmates because learning styles differ. These learning styles are often separated into four different categories:
- The visual learners
- The auditory learners
- The kinetic learners and
- The readers/writers
Learning in a physical classroom caters to all these forms of learning because it allows your teacher to identify and guide you through your category.
However, distance learning hinders the ability to recognize this because it is solely auditory and visual. It restricts you from receiving in-person guidance from your teachers, which may curb your progress in the course.
Distance learning also doesn’t fit all forms of courses like engineering and medicine, where the hands-on practice is essential.
Sometimes, your laptop could break down, or you may occasionally have to share devices with your roommate to stay up with your courses. Situations like these impair your engagement and impede the advancement of your academics.
There can also be unexpected system crashes while you work on projects with colleagues, edit PDF documents online, or even listen to lectures. The expense of repairing or replacing these technological problems could be high, and they might interfere with your progress and force you to withdraw from the course.
Limited Internet connectivity directly affects your ability to complete and graduate from an online program. Sadly, the quality of the network you receive isn’t something you can control, which poses a significant problem.
With distance learning, you must deal with sudden drops in video and audio quality or internet connection. Connectivity issues might force you to miss crucial information or lose progress while you edit watermarks in PDF for a project or an assignment.
Distractions and lack of motivation
The convenience of distant learning also comes with the struggle to eliminate distractions and stay focused. A single notification can take your attention from an ongoing lecture and have you swiping through websites and blog posts.
Mustering the zeal to study when it has been left up to you can be pretty tricky. It becomes even more complicated when distractions surround you and there are no deadlines to meet.
Situations like this leave you lagging on coursework and may affect your academic standing.
4 distance learning tools
Here are some distance learning tools to have in your library.
Pear Deck allows you to learn using its interactive interface. With Pear Deck, teachers can host slides you can draw on, enter notes, drag and drop symbols, or answer multiple-choice questions.
Pear Deck’s partnership with Newsela allows it to create daily interactive learning content that boosts your curriculum and helps maintain your academic progress.
This tool has a free and premium subscription plan, but it is currently free for students and teachers.
Lumin PDF is an online PDF editor for students and businesses that promotes teamwork because of its collaborative nature. Its features give you the flexibility needed to work on projects no matter what format they come in.
With Lumin PDF, you can quickly convert PDF to editable form, split and merge documents, unlock PDFs, and personalize and password-protect your documents. It is also integrated with the Google tools you’re comfortable with, so you can work seamlessly on all your documents.
With the help of Coursera, you can obtain training for several in-demand talents. Through a selection of professional-level courses offered by Coursera, you can build the skills necessary to be well-vetted in your field and gain employment.
For the duration of your learning, Coursera offers a 7-day free trial and monthly or yearly plans.
Zoom’s features let you experience a physical classroom by hosting huge audiences and providing HD video and audio quality. It provides collaborative tools that allow live collaborations with colleagues to share or edit PDF editors.
Zoom’s security features give you complete control by enabling you to password-protect and lock meetings, authenticate attendees, and eject troublemakers. The premium package has infinite tools, making it perfect for running classes with more than 100 students. A free, limited plan that only supports 100 participants for 40 minutes is also available.
While distance learning’s flexibility makes education accessible to everybody, the isolation it brings could have adverse health effects. The sense of isolation causes virtual learning fatigue, which ultimately causes you to lose your academic reputation.
Maintaining healthy habits like sticking to a set schedule, removing distractions, and sleeping right can eliminate the challenges you face with distance learning.