2020 was a year to forget for many people as the world fought together through many challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. During this viral pandemic, schools around the nation were forced into distance learning, relying on technology to connect with students from home.
Distance learning seemed to be a great solution to such an absurd reality, as students still were able to do work, and participate in class from home, very similar to as they would in a classroom setting. However, as anticipated, a downside to distance learning was some students not working as productively at home as they would in the classroom.
This year, students are required to wear masks in school, but all students need to go into school, and no online option is given. One of the main benefits, and the reason online school happened in the first place, was that students and parents may not have felt comfortable going to school with COVID. Many students have family members that are at high risk to COVID, and online school could have been a comfortable way of learning for them. Students were able to see both pros and cons of online learning, however, the cons heavily seem to outweigh the pros.
One of the main stigmas behind online learning was how easy it was for students to cheat from home. With no teacher or administrator being face to face with students, kids could find easy opportunities to cheat, making online school significantly easier than traditional school. This would create an unfair boundary between the students at home and the students in school. Similarly, online learning also gave students more distractions due to being at home. Masuk Junior, Sam McHugh speaks on this saying,
“I feel like online school is harder to learn in compared to in person school. This is why I was ready to get back to school as soon as possible.”
Many students were left home alongside video games, phones and much better things they would rather do than school work. Students could very simply do anything they want at home that they would not be able to do in the classroom, and as a result students learned less. Furthermore, another main problem many schools faced with online learning was students not getting the “hands on” experience in some classes.
Classes in school such as biology and chemistry required labs for students to better understand the material, and students at home could not perform the labs. Art classes such as ceramics, woodshop, and culinary require students to be in school to basically take the whole class, because not everybody has a table saw at home.
Online school was a mixed experience for all Masuk students during the pandemic. Some students would still prefer the option of online classes, and many would take the side of traditional school. However, whether you like it or not, everybody is back together in school, ready to get back to normal.