Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many schools worldwide have switched to alternative forms of education such as online learning. Since the end of last school year, students and teachers everywhere have been adapting to a new way of learning and teaching while following the proper guidelines for safety.
Although e-learning has had its ups and downs through the beginning months of the 2020-2021 school year, some students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are very fond of their new day-to-day schedules.
“Online school gives me time flexibility that I didn’t have before attending physical school,” junior Elaine Chen said. “With being in extracurricular activities and keeping up with school work, it’s efficient that I can manage my own schedule.”
Some students are able to now manage their time with online learning in ways they could not with in-person school. Other students also look at the health benefits of online.
“A big pro for online school is that it keeps everyone safe. With a pandemic currently going on you wouldn’t want to pass on the virus to other students or school administration,” sophomore Mya Ryan said.
While online school gives students new time management abilities and safety, some also believe that online school comes with cons and issues as well.
“A negative of online school is not getting that interactive and socialized feeling,” junior Sean McHenry said.
Many students agree that being away from their friends and teachers for this extended period of time has taken an emotional toll on their mental health.
“There is no teacher present if I need to show them something, and it takes a little more time to get a hold of them,” senior Chris McKenna said. “I think teachers should be more understanding of all this technology and that it can crash. Things take time to get back to normal.”
Students especially miss the social aspects of high school such as sports, dances and clubs. Some students feel as if their high school experience might never be the same again.
“I feel disappointed and upset at the fact that this is my last year of high school, and I may not be able to experience games, homecoming or prom with my friends,” senior Jonatan Valle said.
Not only has this new path of learning taken a toll on mental health, but also a toll on learning abilities for those who have difficulty with technology. Instead of using Zoom, students at MSD have switched to the video platform run by Microsoft called Teams.
Teachers have had to learn how to use sites like Nearpod, Flipgrid and Canvas to present material and assign work. Across all grades, students have at one point or another faced difficulty in transitioning to this new “normal.”
“While doing online, my friends and I would have issues with Microsoft teams,” Ryan said. “It’s hard when your teacher thinks you just left their class when you’re actually having technical difficulties.”
In the midst of a global pandemic, online learning has been hit or miss with MSD students, and continues to be unpredictable.