• Ryle Eddings

World Distance Learning Day

World Distance Learning Day, held annually on August 31st, is a day to remember remote learning programs around the world. This includes classes held both online as well as hybrid classes that occur online and in-person.

World Distance Learning Day is held on August 31st of each year
World Distance Learning Day is held on August 31st of each year

For years, I have been a teacher of English as a second language. This career choice took me all over the world. However, it wasn't until my brick-and-mortar school closed due to Covid restrictions that I began teaching online.


The first pattern I noticed in this new teaching style was the number of students I was teaching from small villages and towns. I had always taught in larger cities when I was teaching in-person classes.


It made sense for me and most other teachers to teach English in larger cities. The money was better. The chance to experience more of the culture seemed greater. And it was easier to reach far greater amounts of students interested in learning English.

Many students do not have access to quality education without distance learning
Many students do not have access to quality education without distance learning

What I never took into account was that there were large numbers of students in smaller towns and villages who had little to no access to a native English-speaking teacher. I discovered this fact as I began to teach online.


My online students were comprised of both students from major cities who no longer had a school to go to because of Covid, but also of students who lived in small towns or villages who, even before Covid, didn't have access to quality schools.


The gratitude of my small-town students was noticeable in almost every one of my online classes. Many of them had never met a foreigner and so they were quite shy at first. Some of them hadn't considered the possibility that they too had access to the diverse world around them.

The gratitude of small-town students to receive an online education was palpable
The gratitude of small-town students to receive an online education was palpable

It wasn't until they began taking online classes that they considered the idea of actually traveling outside of their own small community. The excitement that I witnessed as these remote students began to consider that the entire world of knowledge and experience was open to them through online education was palpable.


Let's face it, remote learning has been a saving grace for everyone during the global pandemic. I don't think any of us could have made it through this time without the ability to continue to learn and grow while we were locked down in our homes. I myself began taking online classes in writing and editing, which ultimately lead to my new career with Pedacitosblog.com.

Remote learning has been a lifeline for all of us during the Covid pandemic
Remote learning has been a lifeline for all of us during the Covid pandemic

But I think we should remember the importance of online distance learning even after these terrible Covid restrictions are over. Remote distance learning will continue to serve as a lifeline and source of inspiration for countless students who wouldn't have access to the quality education offered to students in larger cities, otherwise.

Online distance learning will help blur cultural lines long after Covid has left us
Online distance learning will help blur cultural lines long after Covid has left us

So, how do we actually celebrate this occasion? I think one of the greatest ways is to share your own experience with distance learning. Let your friends know about your experience learning online. What did you learn? What website(s) did you use? Did you find the class to be informative? And finally, what did you do with the knowledge gained?


One of our main goals here at Pedacitos is to blur the cultural lines that divide us. Access to quality education due to location or economic restrictions are one of those dividing lines. Thanks to distance learning through online educational platforms, the world is no longer open only to those who live in big cities.


Happy World Distance Learning Day!

 

Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!

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