By Cordelia Reilly
Even though COVID-19 still has traces within our county, there is a possible chance that we will return to in person learning at the school sometime in late January. If that happens, students will have to shift their mindsets to that in person learning, but of course there are some good things and bad things about our online learning experience. Here are the things that will and won’t miss about online school.
What we will miss:
- Freedom in our own workspace
Being in your own home while doing schoolwork allows a lot of personal freedom. Things don’t always seem to have as much pressure while at home and comfortable. You can often create a more flexible schedule for schoolwork, listen to your own music, or do whatever else you need to do to stay sane amid the craziness of 2020.
- 15 minute breaks in between classes
Compared to the normal passing periods of 3-5 minutes in in-person school, the 15 minutes we get between online classes gives lots of time to finish up an assignment from the class before and get ready for your next class. Or maybe you just want to listen to some music or step outside before heading into your next subject. You’ve got the time!
- Access to home food all day
It can always be nice to be able to get food whenever you want and the time between classes provides just enough time to fill in those hunger needs whether you want to heat some leftovers or just grab a snack.
- School work is easier
Considering that classes are slightly less engaging and making sure that students are really behind they’re tiny black square, some assignments aren’t as heavy as they were in person. Because of the limitations of online school and collaborations, students have grown accustomed to fewer big projects and presentations.
- More freetime
There are three classes a day and school typically ends around 12:30, giving students lots time to do other things in the second half of the day. During in-person school lots of students had a zero period, a full day of school and sports after making it that they are at school for about 10 hours. During asynchronous work time after Zoom classes, students can complete their assignments on their own schedule and have much more time on their hands.
- Bring your pet to school day everyday
Being with your pets during zoom can be very comforting and it’s not something that we get to do while in in person classes so we will definitely miss it. Of course, students should avoid allowing their pets to be a distraction to the class, but having your fluffy friend near you can make a hard work day much more enjoyable!
- Classes feel shorter
With their modified structure, online classes often fly by. Because of the added challenge of classes having about half the normal amount of time for teachers to directly talk to students, classes are often very focused on communicating as much content as possible, meaning that they often go by very quickly. The lack of block days and longer passing periods don’t hurt, either.
- No one really talks out of turn or disrupts learning
Just about everyone has experienced a class that has been disrupted by students, either intentionally or accidentally. In general students are much quieter, preventing these distractions from happening. Plus, students can mute themselves if something loud is going on in the background.
- Lots of time to prepare for sports practice
There’s a pretty large gap between the end of online school and the start of sports practice. Without taking tiered support and office hours into account, school ends at 1:30 sports like football and waterpolo start at around 3:00
- Not having multiple large assignments from different classes due at the same time
During the school year a lot of students would have projects from different classes due around the time, leading to anxiety. With online school, many projects have been reduced for practicality and, because students only have three classes a day, the remaining assignments have been more spaced out, reducing this stress.
What we won’t miss:
- Collaboration being more difficult
When it comes to class work between students, the online version is lackluster. Most of the time when doing work with other students in breakout rooms, it becomes a speechless place with cameras off almost all the time. Eventually it just became awkward and boring. Compared to the social aspect that in-person classes offer, online falls flat.
- Losing track of time
Alright you have 15 minutes left until your next class and you decide to pass that time away on your phone. After looking up for a moment you realize that you’ve been late to class for 10 minutes. In other words the online learning space is a perfect place to lose out track of time and it’s not always the cause of phones, but generally we are so comfortable in our own homes that we forget about class
- Less connection to teacher
Each year of school we always get new teachers and over a couple weeks students get to know them. However now that we aren’t in person anymore, that step of making connections is limited behind the screen and resulted in no strong connection with the teacher between their students.
- Not having access to the physical elements of class
For classes such as chemistry, which revolves around labs, hands on work is completely impossible and is replaced with writing. Sometimes depending on the class, it can make it harder.
- Days seem like the same as the day before
The main stereotype of this quarantine is getting out of bed, staying on the computer all day, eating, sleeping, repeat. A good way to look at this is through the movie Groundhog’s Day, where the character relives his day until he is able to fix something. Just like school we are trapped up in our room day in and day out being seemingly the same thing.
- Presenting in front of a class of faceless students
During regular school we present in front of visible faces. Sometimes it is unnerving, but when compared to the presentations behind the screen it becomes all the more scary especially when you can’t hear or see people, when cameras are off, react to your speech.
- Not being able to interact more with our school
Once again hands-on activities with our school is limited to a far extent. ASB has been moved completely online and the only interaction between students and the school is sending a picture of yourself for certain events. At school we were able to do this in person without any hoops to jump through when compared to online and its uncontrollable issues.
- Accidentally joining the wrong Zoom class
Embarrassment is the definition of this unwanted circumstance as it can be annoying to accidentally join another and be told that you shouldn’t be here in front of unknown people. What’s worse about this is that it can happen any day. At school, students will only show up at the wrong classes at the beginning of the year, but with online we might forget what periods of class we have.
- Lagging out of Zoom
Though online classes offer less disruptions from other students, they can still easily be derailed by connectivity issues. It can always be annoying when you’re working hard in an important class when connectivity issues start to fail. It’s an uncontrollable factor of online school that limits us from learning.
- Embarrassing things happening on camera
When it comes to learning at home there will always be factors from the surrounding background and sometimes it can be embarrassing. There can be pets that could interrupt the call with greeting their owner or other siblings messing with their brother or sister.