It’s been almost 3 years since the pandemic forced many countries to readjust how their citizens live and socialize. In the first months that followed the outbreak, there was panic. Many businesses and institutions were forced to close, and schools weren’t exempted. In order to avoid students losing precious time, most schools moved to online learning. This was met with initial appreciation. However, since then, there have been concerns among parents and students about the effect online learning is having on students’ health. A number of research studies have been conducted on this subject, and in this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive answer to the question, “what’s the impact of online learning on students’ health?”.
Impact Of Online Learning On Students’ Health
Blended learning, the combination of online and physical classes, has slowly replaced online learning in most schools. However, the fact that online learning is still being carried out to some degree still makes the question of its impact valid. After thorough research, here are 5 ways in which online learning impacts students’ health:
- Reduced concentration
- Increase in loneliness
- More stress
- Eye strain
1. Reduced concentration
A big part of online learning requires students to be online in the first place. As the internet is filled with many entertaining videos, memes, and articles, you can find yourself lost going through them for hours. This is a problem for students who must dedicate their time to studying. Unlike in the classroom, where the student’s only option is to pay attention or not attend the class, with online learning, there are no watchful teacher’s eyes to guide the student’s focus. Depending on the student’s study environment, they might even decide to have their class session on mute and watch a movie at the same time instead.
Most students have ended up developing such learning patterns where their attention wanders at the time when they are supposed to be learning. This addiction to constant stimuli to the brain means that the prospect of sitting down to concentrate for 30 minutes is impossible for many students today. As you might imagine, this is a serious problem that we might not see the full effects of until further research is done.
2. Increase in loneliness
Humans are social creatures, and it has always been this way. In fact, isolation has often been used as a form of punishment. So, as online learning reduces the number of productive physical interactions students have with each other, this can take a toll on many students’ mental health. Constantly learning by yourself and staring at the screen all day can be depressing. When you consider students living alone in their dorms, their situation is even worse. To help combat this, many schools have started encouraging blended learning. Going to class occasionally, at least one or two times a week, can help a student socialize, interact with peers, discuss homework and other topics, and as a result, feel more connected and less solitary.
You will need certain devices if you are learning online today, like a laptop or a tablet. Also, online learning requires students not to simply sit through online lectures but also submit their assignments online. After a day of attending multiple classes, you might be left with only a few hours to work on assignments at night. Staring at a tablet or laptop screen late at night may ruin your sleep cycle. Additionally, even if you manage to finish your assignments on time, they won’t always be of the best quality. Essay assignments, for instance, aren’t usually written well when under stress. So, it’s a good idea to use IHateWriting online writing services to get a talented academic writer to handle your essay assignments. Prices are low, and quality is high, so it presents an opportunity for you to relax and catch some rest.
4. More stress
While online learning allows you to learn from the comfort of your home, it isn’t always a stress-free experience. For one, a classroom is a dedicated place of learning. This means you’re less likely to find distractions in the form of a noisy neighbor or the sounds of cars driving in the background. Depending on where you live, an online class might leave you not learning much.
When faced with this challenge, asking a teacher for support might seem the next logical step. However, depending on how many people are in your class, you might find it difficult to communicate with your lecturer. Also, the video and audio quality might not always be good. 5G communication does exist, but getting a 5G-compatible device can be expensive. So, most students will have to make do with some extra studying by themselves. As you can imagine, dealing with all of this can be stressful.
5. It can lead to eye strain
Staring at your screen for long hours can lead to eye strain over time. In fact, doctors gave some advice after noticing many patients who complained of eye strain often had jobs or activities that required them to look at a screen for long periods of time. For example, the 20-20-20 Rule says that after spending 20 minutes looking at a screen, you should look away from it and instead concentrate on an object that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. However, as many classes go well beyond 20 minutes, it isn’t always applicable. Another challenge comes with remembering to look away. As students are focused on learning, this isn’t always at the top of their list of priorities. As a result, many students often suffer from headaches, watery eyes, blurred vision, and many other health challenges from taking online classes for extended periods of time.
Online learning seems to be here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. It has created a way for students to learn without putting their health in direct danger of the pandemic. However, its impact on students’ health shouldn’t be ignored. Whether you’re a student or a teacher, you should take the points mentioned in this article seriously.