By Sammie Cohen
With all of the twists and turns that 2020 has brought, one that has impacted adolescents the most has been online learning. With the pandemic raging and stay-at-home orders in place across the world, teachers have been required to teach their lessons from home. This was made possible by technology and platforms such as Zoom. However, with kids still learning from the comfort of their homes, many questions arise as to whether or not these students are receiving the same quality education that they would be receiving in-person.
When online learning started, it was unclear how long the remote instruction would last. At first, many did not know how to navigate learning on a digital platform. What many teachers soon found to be the best system was to post assignments on sites like Google Classroom or Canvas and teach live lessons through Zoom or Google Meet. With live lessons, students were able to get real-time feedback.
Many students find online learning to have too many distractions, as they are sitting in their houses with constant interruptions. I, myself, can attest that I do not feel as though I receive the same education online as I do in school. I can’t focus from home, and with my family home, I get distracted. Additionally, when I’m home, I am more tempted to go on my phone during live lessons.
Another major downside to online school is technology issues that can disrupt live learning. If students’ wifi goes out, they are disconnected from the internet, which forces them off the call. Unreliable wifi can also cause glitches and breaks in the audio and video during a live lesson.
Kaitlyn Aasheim, OBHS junior, said, “When a teacher’s audio cuts out, oftentimes they don’t realize and continue to teach, so you don’t always know what they are saying.” When these errors occur, remote students fall behind in the lesson while their peers who are learning in-person do not.
Cameras are required to be on at all times in remote classrooms so that teachers can ensure students are present on the call. Many students may find this uncomfortable. I personally do my schoolwork in my bedroom, so the thought of everyone seeing my room is very strange. Teachers have suggested that students set up a working space in a common area of our houses; however, some people do not have the room to do so, or their houses are too loud in those spaces.
With all of the distractions from online learning, along with technological issues, it is easy to see that most students learn better in-person. I personally prefer in-person learning. I feel like I am more engaged when I am at school, and I don’t get as easily distracted. I also like how in-person learning allows students to directly communicate with their classmates and teachers, instead of needing to do so in a chat.
In-person learning is much more effective than online learning. Students enjoy being able to learn in person and interacting with their peers throughout the day. Even though online learning is an appropriate safety net to fall back on during this pandemic, the traditional way of learning is beneficial for all.