Online learning

2020 Online Learning: Pros and Cons

Pros

Online learning can be extremely beneficial for a large number of people. For many students, online learning provides the opportunity to develop organization skills and create constructive habits. 

When ‘normal’ school was in session, whiteboards, agendas and teachers served as constant reminders of homework, due dates or test dates, so there was very little possibility of  missing deadlines. Now, it is crucial to pay attention in class as it is very easy to miss important information. As a result, students are learning how to be more responsible, stay focused, create better study habits and stay organized, as they no longer can count on the aforementioned reminders.

Online learning also gives students more time to complete work and allows them to work at their own pace. Previously, sports constantly conflicted with school, typically taking up two hours of the day. Student athletes were thus left with very little time to complete work, but this problem has been resolved due to the current hiatus of sports. This will likely lead to a significant increase in grades considering how much extra time students have been given.  

Moreover, if students are home sick, they no longer have to stress about missing part of a lesson, homework, tests, etc. They are now provided with the option to simply turn on their computers and listen to the teacher, rather than missing a full day or several days of school. This is a huge stress-relief for students who previously had  a hard time missing school due to the fear of falling behind. 

In addition, students who once had to worry about finding a ride to school, catching the bus, or even paying for gas, no longer have that struggle. Getting a ride to school previously caused students to be late because their ride needed extra time, woke up late, forgot to take them, etc. The fact that students no longer need a ride to school saves a significant amount of stress on the driver, along with the student. Although online school is an entirely different experience for students, it is not without its positives and has pushed students to develop their personal organization habits.

By Maxine Gable

 

Cons

This year has been different from all the years before and has brought up new challenges upon staff, students and teachers. In fact, it has been so stressful that even the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) did not have a plan for this year until a week before the start of the school year. Students have been given a set of rules that they are obligated to follow such as having their camera on when on a call, wearing appropriate clothing, and using their school email when joining class in order to eliminate chances of getting hacked. In addition, the students no longer have access to schoolloop and are required to use Canvas, which they had no prior experience with. Teachers have been required to learn the new tools and tricks of Canvas, set up all the course work on this website, and on top of all of this, have to deal with the unfortunate problems that their students face as well. There have been multiple technological problems on Canvas that have not only caused Canvas to shut down, but also worried students and teachers. 

Zoom and Google Meet are the only way that students can interact with their teachers as well as their classmates. Students either sit on their bed, car, or a chair, then join the call to make sure that they are not missing what is being taught. However, this way of learning is new to us all. There are times that calls are lagging or connection is lost, which causes a disturbance to both our learning and the teachers’ lesson plans. It is true that no one can be blamed for all these tiny problems that occur during school hours, but it still causes strain in the school environment. 

Emails have been sent out by the administration, informing both students and parents about the new plan called hybrid learning. Students now have the choice to pick between the hybrid which is a plan consisting of a learning program that is 50% online and 50% in person. This option has sparked many debates and worries. It is true that many want to go back to their normal routine, but they are also worried about a spike in COVID-19 cases  occurring. All of these decisions will come to an end within a week when all the results are gathered and decisions are final. Adapting to this new process of learning will take time and all anyone can do is wait to see how things will turn out, hope for the best and try to keep an open mind.

By Shadan Rahmani

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