Pro’s and Con’s of online learning

Melanie Cortes-Perulero, Staffer

When most students heard that they were going to have a two-week break, they
were excited that they would get a small break from waking up early and going to
school every day. But later, those two weeks turned into a month, turning into the rest
of the year. Students and teachers had no choice but to get comfortable with the new
covid school routine. Online learning was never the ideal school plan, but it has its own pros and cons.
Before Covid, many students and some teachers complained about how early
school began, especially for high schools. It was to the point where it was up to debate if
having a later start was truly beneficial. However, high school
students no longer start at 7:20 am now in distance learning and get a tad bit more sleep in. As Ms.Dela Cruz
shared, “ I LOVE that we start at 8 a.m instead of 7:20 a.m. I love that we finish teaching
earlier in the school day and have time to collaborate with others. “ The late start students
get now is definitely a pro from online school since they don’t only get more sleep, they
also have more office hours available due to school ending earlier! Ms.Lemker
commented, “School starts at a more reasonable hour for adolescents, and there is a lot of
built-in time for individual help after Zoom sessions end.” This is great for students to
have one-on-one time with their teachers and catch up on any missing assignments. Also,
not having school on Wednesday and having it as a ‘work day’ is helpful to students who
are behind and get the extra time to catch up.
Although, the in-person school was a great way of building a relationship between
students and teachers daily. Unfortunately, now most students don’t even
bother turning on their cameras; Ms. De La Cruz mentioned, “I dislike that I don’t see my
students on zoom. I totally get not having cameras on, but it does feel lonely.” It can be challenging for teachers to establish a connection with students when they can’t
even put a name on their faces. Now since everything is over a screen, there is a very
minimal connection, unfortunately, says Ms.Lemker, “I hardly know my students on a
personal level, and I cannot gauge how they are doing emotionally and academically
because there is very little interaction.” Online school has made many students return the
bare minimum effort when it comes to connecting with their teachers and classmates.
Nonetheless, in some classes, such as Journalism, where being online isn’t so
bad since it is more of a ‘you do it yourself type of thing, but that is not always the case
in every class. There are classes such as art, stagecraft, and theater where the class
revolves around physical activity. The Mariner fine arts teacher shared that, “ All the
learning happens while actively preparing for an onstage show. It is hard to create a
meaningful experience online when students do not have access to any of the materials
they would normally work with.” When it comes to classes like these, online learning
can be frustrating since many changes have to be made to the class itself due to the lack
of access students have to tools they would be doing in person with their peers.
In conclusion, online learning has been a new experience for both staff and
students. After all, safety always comes first! It may not be everybody’s favorite, but the
least everyone can do is do their own part and hope for the best. Hopefully, in-person
the school will be back in session the way it used to, but nothing is more important than
getting through this pandemic safely at the moment.