Novelties, or rather innovations, are characteristic of any professional activity of a person and therefore naturally become the subject matter of analysis and implementation. Innovations do not appear by themselves, they are always the result of scientific studies, best pedagogical experiences of individual teachers and entire teams. This process cannot be spontaneous, it needs to be managed.
In recent decades, there has emersed a new problem of educational development in Russia. The tree of knowledge dates every 3-5 years, and technological expertise becomes out-of-date every 2-3 years. It will take a little more time and this process will become more rapid - 1.5 - 2 years. The amount of knowledge of school graduates doubles every 3-4 years. If educational models are not modified, the standards of specialist training will effectively fall behind the levels that are required in the labor markets. By conservative estimates, digestion of knowledge by school children by means of information and communication technologies is 40-60% faster, or even more, in a unit of time comparing to conventional methods of learning.
The global pandemic in March 2020 forced the whole world to follow new rules and new ways in different areas of life. Online shopping, online workplace, online payment of services, online medical consultations, online concerts, distance rules, etc.
Distance studies have now become the global phenomenon of educational and informational culture, changing the models of education in many countries around the world. Thгs distance study became really relevant and up-to-date.
Hypothesis is the following – are distance studies formulate new models of learning?
Subject studyis the following – organization of the distance studies process with its pros and cons.
Subject of research is the following – distance studies of English.
Goalof this research work is to analyze the problems and principles of distance studies of English in Odintsovo City District and Barvikha Secondary Comprehensive School, using survey data from online resources.
To achieve this goal, the following problems need to be solved:
-to find out pros and cons of distance studies;
-to analyze the problems arising from distance studies;
-to develop questionnaires among the school children of 6th grade;
-to sum-up the data obtained, to draw conclusions.
The following methods of research are being used in this research work: interviews, questionnaires, comparative analysis of the data obtained.(Appendix 1)
I. Theoretical part
1. Pandemic as a transition to a new life
How has the modern pandemic phenomenon affected different areas of life?
The impact of the pandemic on the society is a collective concept: it implies changes that have taken place in the world when COVID-19 virus was detected and then combated. Experts say that there is almost no area that is not affected by this disease. People's priorities have changed towards social quarantine measures, health promotion measures and self-development. Peoples’ interests in the entertainment and service market areas have been relegated to the background. Altogether these factors have now predetermined the world economy, culture and tourism.
The impact of the pandemic on the business is related to the transition to online workplace. Due to the specifics of the pandemic, demand for antiviral drugs and immunostimulants has increased significantly. Also, people actively started to purchase antiseptic products, disposable masks, bandages and gauze (for making personal protective means by themselves in case of shortages in pharmacy). Therefore, the pandemic has provoked an increase of income in the pharmaceutical sector.
Areas that are losing their relevance and becoming less profitable due to coronavirus pandemic:
1. Tourism, airlines.
2. Restaurants, cafes.
3. Retail, which involves also non-food sales.
4. Import logistics.
5. Offline entertainment.
The impact of the pandemic on the culture segment
Musical industry is one of the most vulnerable areas facing the pandemic risks. Small clubs have suspended their activities. Some bands and performers held concerts online.
The pandemic also affected all theatres, cinemas, museums activities, etc. Bookstores have switched to online-services. Theatres broadcast performances with online spectators at the same time suffering deficit of finance. (Appendix 2)
2. How the pandemic has dramatically revolutionized the educational processes
During the pandemic the education area has changed particularly dramatically and rapidly. Teachers had to implement extraordinary methods of teaching literally on the move, including new models of class interaction and knowledge acquiring control. Parents for several weeks have had to balance between the performance of their official duties and helping their children in the learning process. For schoolchildren it was a real challenge, a real boon for self-development and organization while training new skills "learn how to learn".
Of course, this compulsive experiment was not quite successful.
The basic condition for the development of the “digital education” is building the necessary high-level infrastructure, and this implies providing logistics equipment for all schools and organizing high-speed Internet access there. The next important steps include implementation of services with high quality content, effective mechanisms for managing the area of education in general, of course, training measures and development of personnel, that could improve teachers’ skills.
High-speed Internet access in schools is the task that has been mentioning by the government for years. Today it has acquired a special relevance. However, implementation of the infrastructure development in our country is not homogeneous. For example, in the Kuril Islands high-speed Internet access has already appeared thanks to the special project, but in the neighboring Kamchatka it is still difficult to implement which reduces the opportunities of children to participate in the Academic Olympics and many other different competitions, most of which are now held online.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all. For most people it came as a complete surprise. But thousands of children who simply cannot attend school because of their limited health opportunities take on the same challenge every day.
Educational experts agree that the development of “digital school” will allow to create, introduce and develop new models of teaching and interacting with children, improve educational approaches, combine opportunities for online and offline learning, leaving more time for practice and project activities. The competent use of digital opportunities can significantly enhance teachers’ time to prepare for a lesson, check homework and control academic performance all in all. Altogether, as a result, the technologies should relieve teachers’ excessive burden and make the educational process more creative. Finally, this is our chance to bring the school closer to the growing “digital generation”.
The main fear for opponents of the "digital educational environment" is the moving away from traditional classes in schools. But no one argues that classes and live communication with the teacher is a necessary and secure foundation of the whole educational process. Therefore, the purpose of the project is to introduce and distribute the best digital practices, while preserving and developing the traditions of the national school, and does not imply replacing live communication by video conferencing or watching educational videos.
Today there are systems that allow us to analyze the so-called “digital footprint” of schoolchildren – their participation in the Olympics contests, other competitions and projects, their achievements for different years.
Thus, Yaroslav Kuzminov, rector of Higher School of Economics, states in his article that incredible changes are taking place in the educational sector, which has found itself at the forefront of this global critical transformation. “In almost a few days, full-time formal education has stopped, however universities and schools in most countries have not stopped their work but have continued to work remotely or are preparing to do so.
In fact, such changes have been accumulating for almost ten years. Global platforms of MOOC – Mass Open Online Courses – are growing rapidly. The number of their students is already comparable to the number of that of the university. People, wherever they are, have their access to study courses at Harvard, Yale University, London School of Economics, MSU. In the world’s leading universities (including Russia) there are hundreds of online courses put in the curriculum, organized by “foreign” professors by most. Schools are developing their digital platforms that could offer many models of lessons and as well as options for self-learning.
New methods, for all their effectiveness, have been rejected or ignored by the traditionalists group in the education system and such traditionalists form the majority. Working in the condition of crisis and quarantine measures would force literally everyone to learn modern technologies in practice. While getting out of the crisis, the education system would not return to its traditional status.” The author also believes that the crisis will stimulate the denial of outdated teaching models. First of all, lectures the form of which have not been changing from the 16th-17th centuries.But neither the university nor the school would quit the stage. People are social beings, and the quality of education directly depends among others on the quality of the educational environment which cannot be all virtually modelled.
As any problem distant non-traditional learning has pros and cons. And we have to find out how many positive and negative aspects this process implies.
II. Practical part
During our research 33 pupils of 6th grade were interviewed. (Appendix 3)
The survey consisted of 7 questions was held on the theme of distance learning. The survey was created by Microsoft Publisher program. A questionnaire in the form of a table with 3 multiple choices was developed: “Yes”, “No” and “I find it difficult to answer”.
To provide more information about pupils’ attitude towards a new type of education, we have created 3 charts on the 3 main issues in the questionnaire. The pupils were asked such questions as “Is it easy for you to follow distance learning?” and “Do you like such form of education?”.
We got the following results:
The first chart with the question “Do you like such form of education?”.
Statistically, it is obvious that half of the respondents are satisfied with the distance form of education. 18 per cent are dissatisfied with some points, and 30 per cent of pupils are dissatisfied with the distance form of education. (Appendix 4)
Chart 2 on the question: “Is it easy for you to follow distance learning?”.
The diagram has revealed that one third of people have not been able to adapt to this form of learning and it is not easy for them to learn by means of the display of a computer, tablet or smartphone. Slightly less than half of people consider this form of learning to be good and that it is easy for them to follow distance learning, and one fourth of the respondents feel uncomfortable and in some moments it is not very easy for them to learn in such a way. (Appendix 5)
We also decided to check whether the performance of the pupils in distance learning has changed somehow. The statistics of the answers and opinions of the pupils is clearly presented in the diagram.
Most pupils’ performance changed, the performance of one third of pupils did not changed, and 4 per cent of pupils said that their performance had changed only in some marks. (Appendix 6)
Analysis of the questionnaire data makes it clear for us that this form of education is appreciated by most pupils and it is easy for them to learn in such form, but some pupils do not like this form and it is difficult for them to follow distance learning.
We also have analyzed statistics concerning feedback reviews on distance learning on Internet resource https://aif.ru/society/education/opros_pokazal_otnoshenie_rossiyskih_shkolnikov_k_distancionnomu_obucheniyu, this is a survey in which 1.3 thousand schoolchildren participated.
The results of the survey are as following:
49% of schoolchildren began to appreciate full-time education, and 24% had an alternative point of view, 27% could not answer this question.
20% believed that it was possible to get distance learning in some way, but with the good Internet access, using effective sites for training and good technology.
17% of students were unable to follow their usual pace of study, and 25% of pupils stated an “early rise” as a drawback of such form of education.
On the other Internet resource https://onf.://. en/2020/04/14/onf-predstavil-itogi-oprosa-ocenivshih-distancionnoe-obuchenie-roditeley-i-shkolnikov/expertsfromthe national fund“Equal Opportunities for Children” and from the “National Education Resources Foundation” interviewed 2,695 schoolchildren aged from 13 to 18.According to the results of this survey 57% suffered the lack of communication with peers, 45% suffered the lack of communication with teachers.88% of schoolchildren complained on the unstable operation of educational sites.49% felt more tired, and 77% noticed that teachers began to give homework in a more volume than usual.
Pros and cons
At the beginning of distance learning in Spring 2020 everyone had good expectations for this innovation and assumed that learning process would be more productive and easier. Based on the surveys and external sources data, we have found out and summarized in the table below all the advantages and disadvatages.
According to the results of the school survey, many pupils liked the new form of the education, it was easier for them to learn in front of the display, most of the pupils underlined such advantages of distance learning as teachers better explaining lesson content and generally easier communication with the teachers.
No advantages were found in the third-party resources.
There are more disadvantages of distance learning than we expected.
Firstly, all resources highlighted the disadvantages of the platforms on which all lessons, tests and Olympics competitions were held as main drawbacks of distance learning.
“Zoom” platform where lessons were organized failed many times to operate, and there were frequent bugs, connection interruptions, microphones and sound failures.
Many teachers have not been able to learn how to use such platforms. Other sites were overloaded.
Most of the pupils lacked communication with their peers and friends.
The pupils noticed their increased fatigue and more homework volume.
In general, pupils and teachers were not ready for such a dramatic shift to distance learning.
There is also a huge drawback concerning the fact that due to some eye disorders some pupils could not use computers, tablets or smartphones and other equipment with display because of the risk of losing their eyesight.
Children without good Internet access are unable to follow distance learning format.
These findings show that distance learning has now a lot of drawbacks and that in the future they should be corrected otherwise the distance learning format will never be able to replace full-time conventional learning.
The world is constantly developing. Many believe that everything new is better than the old one, but familiar, and that in the age of technology, distance learning will be a substitute for face-to-face, full-time conventional format. During pandemic, online model entered education system unexpectedly, the whole world was not ready for this. As a result, distance learning has proved to be a difficult and even a challenging model to conduct a lesson. It was not easy for pupils and teachers to quickly adapt to new technologies and applications, to learn new mechanisms.
In our research work, our main task was to identify positive and negative aspects, to understand the challenges faced by pupils and teachers, and whether a new form of education can produce quality results in education process.
We have come to the conclusion that, theoretically, the transition to a new model of educational process is possible, but only in the future and only when there is a real need and desire to use online technologies. In many ways, successful results could be achieved with the full equipped gadgets and programs of both sides of the educational process. It is also important to note that in order the quality of the education process does not suffer, there should be timely teachers’ training in the technological sphere. But the achievement of the highly positive outcome largely depends on the pupil himself, on his motivation and intention to acquire new knowledge.
The purpose of the research has been achieved, the initial tasks were accomplished, the hypothesis is proven. The practical significance of our research work is that it can be used for further works on the implementation process of distance learning in educational institutions, in schools.
List of resources used:
5. https://yandex.ru/turbo/hi-news.ru/s/eto-interesno/v-chem-raznica-mezhdu-pandemiej-i-epidemiej.html?utm_source=turbo_turbo (illustrated)