Education Issues

Some Common Misconceptions about Remote Learning


With every school having to take up remote learning on a huge scale across the country, there’s been an explosion of opinions about what the best way to teach children remotely really is. In this context, a deluge of advice based on false preconceptions, pop-pedagogy, and little experience has been abound.

In this blog, we outline three of the most common misconceptions we’ve seen and explain what you can do better in your school.

Misconception 1: Live Lessons are always best

Have you ever noticed that an hour in a video call always feels longer than an hour in person? The same applies for live video lessons.

There is significant merit in live lessons, as they allow teachers some control over the learning environment and demand the attention of their pupils. They also tend to feel a bit more like a classroom lesson, making them more appealing.

However, getting pupils to concentrate over an hour on a video call is a lot more difficult than an hour in a classroom, especially if they’re expected to attend multiple over the course of the day.

Rather than trying to replicate the school day in video lessons, you should be taking a mixed approach using recorded lessons, interactive tasks to give instruction, while using live lessons for limited uses, such as giving feedback or providing practice.

Misconception 2: Everything Should be Digital

Remote learning is not digital learning.

While the use of digital technology creates a range of possibilities that are particularly useful for the delivery of remote learning, this does not mean that all learning and activities your pupils and students are doing need to be digital.

For example, in your subject area there may be an especially useful textbook issued to all students. Rather than thinking about how the textbook material can be translated into digital resources, you should be considering how to communicate its use to students, and think of how certain in-class activities can be done differently in the pupil’s home environment.

Remote learning is best when kept simple, with an eye on the goal of delivering a high-quality curriculum. This might be best achieved through a digital lesson, but it could often just as easily be achieved with an old-fashioned worksheet.

Misconception 3: Engagement is Everything

A common frustration of home learning is that as a teacher, it can feel hopelessly difficult to engage certain pupils without being there in person.

Addressing this issue is important. However, focusing too heavily on maximising engagement can sometimes detract from the primary goal of delivering an enriching curriculum.

While there are plenty of techniques and strategies that can be used to increase pupil engagement, you should make sure that these don’t take away from time spent teaching new material, helping pupils practise, and providing assessment and feedback.

What We Do

Building on a wealth of experience teaching educators how to deliver remote and online education, our learning team provides schools and other educational organisations with infrastructure, teacher training, and ongoing support to successfully and efficiently deliver remote learning, no matter the context.

If your staff are struggling with the demands of remote learning and delivering a quality curriculum via the web, get in contact with the team today.

Published by
Adam Barker-Wyatt

Producing content and communications on behalf of schools and multi-academy trusts.

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