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Corona  virus  Disease  2019  (Covid-19)  has  spread  very  fast  and  to  almost  all countries,  so  the  World  Health  Organization  (WHO)  declared  this  outbreak  a  global pandemic in March 2020 (BBC, 2020). All life sectors are affected. To break the chain of the spread of Covid-19, several  institutions  have  implemented a new policy,  namely working from home so that there are no services at the office. Even if there are services in the office, the  number of employees and visiting  is  limited, and  health protocols are strictly implemented.

Several  studies  have  found a phenomenon that the  Covid-19 pandemic  has also a major  impact toward the education sector (Rahardjo & Pertiwi, 2020). In the education sector,  the  government  through  the  Ministry  of  Education  and  Culture  in  all  countries has  implemented  a  learning  policy,  namely  learning  from  home.  The  learning  from learning  policy  allows  the  teaching  and  learning  process  to  continue  even  though teachers  and  students  do  not  meet  directly  at  school.  Teachers  can  still  deliver  the teaching material, and students can still receive the lesson without leaving their homes.

Learning  from  home  is  implemented  with  a  distance  learning  system.  A  study conducted  by  Chun,  Kern,  and  Smith  (2016)  summarizes  that  distance  learning  is  an education  system  in  which  learners  are  separated  from  the  educator  and  the  learning process  uses  various  resources  through  Information  and  Communication  Technology (ICT). In the implementation, the distance  learning system  is applied through an online learning  approach.  In  the  Covid-19  pandemic  condition,  this  learning  method  can  be  a solution so that the teaching and learning process can continue.

Online  learning  is  a  part  of  distance  education  that  specifically  combines electronic technology and internet-based technology or ICT in learning. Online learning is a program  for organizing online  learning classes to reach a broad and massive group of  students.  Online  learning  refers  to  the  use  of  internet-based  technology  features, which are highly dependent on the availability of information technology. Dabbagh and Bannan-Ritland (2005) proposed the characteristics of online learning as follows:

1.      Constructivism

2.      Social interaction

3.      Inclusive community of learners

4.      Computer-based Learning

5.      Digital classroom

6.      Interactivity

7.      Independence

8.      Accessibility

9.      Enrichment

Online learning is a learning system without directly face to face  between teacher and students (Allen & Seaman, 2007). The online learning requires an internet network. The  teacher  and  students  carry  out  learning  together,  at the  same  time,  but  in  different places.  Various  applications  and  platforms  can  be  used,  such  as  whatsapp,  telegram, zoom  meeting,  google  meet,  google  classroom,  edmodo,  and  others.  To  support  this online learning, the main device needed is computer or android connected to the internet network.

Facts  among  the  public  actually  show that this  online  distribution  system  creates several  difficulties  and  problems.  A  study  conducted  by  Ahmad  (2016)  found  a phenomenon  that  EFL  learning  which  requires  a  lot of  practice  for  its  application  also experiences  obstacles  when  the  learning  system  is  applied.  In  listening  session,  for instance, the ICT equipment used by teachers to train students who are  in separate and distant  places  is  often  ineffective.  Teachers  also  cannot  maximally  supervise  students when  giving  listening  exams.  In  speaking  course  with  the  distance  or  online  learning, students  also  find  problems  in  imitating  the  way  of  speaking  exemplified  by  their teacher, and the teacher also cannot optimally train the students to speak.

Another problem is that some students’ parents and students do not have computer or  android  device,  as  found  in  a  research  conducted  by  Wahab  and  Iskandar  (2020). Such  condition  makes  them  difficult  in  facing  the  reality.  On  the  one  hand,  there  is  a demand  for  the  fulfillment  of  educational  services  for  students,  as  mandated  in  the constitution. On the other hand, they are faced with a lack of supporting facilities.

The problem is not only in the lack of learning equipment or facilities, but also in the  absence  of  the  internet  quota.  Providing  internet  quota  requires  a  high  cost.  This difficulty is felt by students and parents from middle to lower class economies. They do not have adequate budget to provide the internet network. It doesn’t stop there. Even though the internet is in their hands, students still face difficulty  accessing  the  internet  network  because  of  the  places  they  live. 

A  research carried out by Nashruddin, Alam, and Tanasy (2020) confirms that some students live in remote rural areas that are not covered by the internet. In addition, their cellular network is  sometimes  unstable,  due  to  the  geographical  location  which  is  quite  far  from  the signal  coverage.  This  is  also  a  problem  that  occurs  in  many  students  who  take  online learning, so the implementation is less effective.

Another  problem  is  the  unpreparedness  of  teachers  for  online  learning.  The transition  from  conventional  learning  systems  to  online  systems  occurred  suddenly because the Covid-19 pandemic was not preceded by  mature preparation.  A number of teachers  do  not  have  ICT  skills  so  they  are  unable  to  adapt  the  change,  namely technology and information-based learning. Even though, it is inevitable for teachers to use technology to support their teaching. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, like or  not,  ready  or  not,  ICT-based  learning  must  be  implemented  so  that  the  learning process can keep running.

In  essence,  the  teacher’s  role  cannot  be  replaced  by  technology,  however sophisticated it is. The use of technology in education is only to facilitate the teacher in transfer of knowledge, not on building the students’ character. In line with what the education  experts  such  as  Cviko,  McKenney,  and  Voogt  (2014);  Oomen-Early  and Early  (2015);  and  Turnage  and  Goodboy  (2016)  reveal  that  the  technology  cannot replace the teacher’s position.



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