What EXACTLY is Distance Learning for Students? (and why we should all be doing it anyway!)

We all are seeking more convenience in our lives... we only used to be able to watch a series on TV once, twice a week - whenever it was aired.

Now, we can basically watch what we want, when we want. We used to have to go to a particular shop to get what we want - now we can get whatever we want delivered to our door the next day. We can do that from a mobile phone.

Technology developments change our world every day.

Life throws up surprises

But sometimes there is “disruption” in our daily lives.

2020 has been quite a year for it so far, what with the widespread UK flooding and now the global disruption caused by COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus

The uncertainty this is causing is all around us - it’s the reason that

  • Tesco has no toilet roll
  • It’s the reason everyone is wondering if they will be able to get on their post exam holidays
  • And it is the reason that the stock markets are plunging round the world

Nobody knows the effect that COVID-19 is going to have on our family, our normal lives and our economy.

Uncertainty ÷ tech + distance learning = Top marks

What we do know is that there will likely be a time when we’re going to have to use the wonders of technology to carry on our learning at home. Schools, colleges and universities have shut all over the world and are likely to do so here (I’m writing this in mid March). 

Amongst all the uncertainty, it does seem certain that distance learning is going to be a big part of our lives.

And luckily for this generation, there has never been such a wealth of distance learning opportunities available to us. The benefits of distance learning, or home learning, are appreciated all round the world. 

Apps and PCs allow students to use fantastic online courses and revision programmes at any time and anywhere, and they can be a great benefit if you actually can’t go into school or college (whether this be because you’ve broken your leg or because of Coronavirus). 

What is distance learning? 

Distance learning is a way of learning remotely without being in regular face-to-face contact with your teacher in the classroom. In the UK distance learning has its roots in students learning through correspondence courses. 

In recent years the advancement in technology and the availability of the internet has led to a huge growth in distantly delivered tuition and online learning. 

What are the advantages? 

There are many advantages of distance learning such as;

  • You can learn on your timetable - so you don’t like morning lessons at college? Distance learning allows you to learn from your bed! 
  • Things just don’t sink in the first time? Online video tutorials allow you to watch and rewatch anytime and anywhere. 
  • You have a question and can’t contact your tutor? You can send video ask messages and get a personal response FAST!

Time for worldwide adoption

The schools, colleges and universities know this. Those companies who used to produce those tattered, old textbooks now only want to invest in online education. All universities, even before this particular crisis caused by Covid-19 were looking to put their resources online. 

They know not only does this keep them up to date with the flexibility now demanded, but also that it is the way people now learn. When is the last time you looked anything up in an encyclopaedia?! 

Colleges know that you’d rather watch a video, and if possible, you’d rather do it on your phone.

Access to the best academic minds

Schools, colleges and universities are using distance learning in their subject and degree courses to enable flexibility and to provide the students access to the best minds around the world. 

The rise of online distance learning

Because of the realisation by students, parents and educators that home learning (should really be called anywhere, anytime learning) is the way education is going, the quality of online education resources and distance learning courses has recently gone through the roof. 

BBC Bitesize is great - it’s been going 20 years so it would have to be. But it is not much more than your class notes is it? It might have the fact you want, but it doesn’t tell you how to apply this fact to get full marks in a question. 

What about my tutor? 

Online courses are now, whisper it to your parents, a better option that tutors - who wants a costly retired teacher coming round to your house once a week and forgotten in between? 

They are super expensive and probably teach more than one subject too. Home learning online revision courses are tailored to your specific exam specification. The best online courses come with corresponding downloads and past exam questions.

The VERY best online revision courses even come with actual PERSONAL interaction and take you through exam technique - not only what you need to know but how to use it in your exam. 

Exam time is almost upon us

We are at a critical time in the education cycle - Easter is revision and May and June are exams. That Covid-19 is happening now is cruel on those who are determined to get the grades they need to get into their choice of further education. Revising multiple subjects is hard enough without limited access to normal educational support. 

We want to reassure you though. In individual cases, where a student has for some reason had their learning disrupted, the exam boards will apply “mitigating circumstances” as appropriate. 

What do the exam boards have planned? 

We think it is likely that exam boards will take the outbreak of Covid-19 into consideration when setting the grade thresholds, which are subject to discretion and adjustment. This disruption should not mean that students taking their exams in 2020 will do worse than in other years. 

But of course, this is only partially reassuring, when you want to do as well as you possibly can, and want to make your grade as certain as possible. 

How you can make sure you ace your exams

Online revision courses can help you do this. Of course you learn your syllabus at school, but distance learning is now the premier product available - and it comes into its own in uncertain times like these. 

Having the ability to augment and better your study and revision via expertly put together home learning courses is an asset that wasn’t available in the same way even 4 or 5 years ago.

No-one wants it to be “their” year in which this sort of disruption happens, but it is possible to use the tools available to you and ace your physics exams anyway...

Want more help?

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GCSE Physics

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