The switch between in-person school to distance learning has had its positives and negatives for both teachers and students. COVID-19 has had an impact on all of our lives. For teachers and students this involves the switch from learning in a classroom to learning online.
I interviewed French teacher Mariya Snaznia and English teacher Jenna Pridmore about how distance learning has been going for them. Both spoke about technology issues.
Snaznia stated one difficulty was “not being able to provide to struggling students” due to the distance environment. Having technology issues can be a big problem in this environment and they are not always an easy fix, causing students to fall behind. Pridmore discussed how she has to learn as she goes to figure out what works best. Just like students, teachers are also still figuring out how to navigate distance learning. It seems that most teachers are in a trial and error phase to find what works best.
There are some positives to this new style of learning. Pridmore mentioned how she is getting to learn so much more about technology and other resources besides a pen and paper. These online skills are also helpful to many students as we are living in a digital age where computer knowledge is critical to many jobs.
“Online school gives me more access to helpful resources at any time. When I don’t understand something I can look it up right then and there rather than just sit there not understanding,” said junior Nolan Slader.
Having access to the internet at all times has proved beneficial to both students and teachers when it comes to learning.
Managing this new style of learning has also been difficult for students, Slader said. “My education is more focused now on passing, studying through this online format is so difficult. I’m not able to enjoy the class. If it were in person, I would be able to enjoy it more instead of stressing about passing it.”
Other students and myself share similar ideas about how school seems nonstop. The constant workload many have been facing have blurred the lines between a relaxing home environment and a stressful school environment. It seems that most students are being given an overwhelming workload and many, myself included, are struggling to focus and keep motivation.
“Distance learning has caused a lot of unnecessary stress, not really having any motivation to do anything. It is harder to learn with distance learning. Retaining any actual information is hard as well as there is barely any teacher learning and that is what is most effective. The piled up homework and deadlines are also a big stress factor,” said junior Kikie Liu.
Many students share similar ideas about the stress the constant workload has given them. School now seems to be less about learning and more about getting assignments done.
Though distance learning has its perks for both students and teachers, it seems that both groups prefer the structure of a hands-on environment. Both teachers and students agreed that it is important for schools to stay closed in order to protect public health. But the new system of online learning has greatly affected students’ ability to learn.