Opinion: Doing School at Home

Koen Samuel, Assistant Editor

After the last nine weeks of at home learning, the 2019/20 school year is finally drawing to a close. However, the last nine weeks have only felt like a dose of what actual school is like. From seeing your teachers one to two times a week on Zoom classes and completion grades for a pass/fail quarter, I’m afraid that while we’ve still been kept in gear, online school has taken away students reality of what school is actually like. 

Online and virtual school have no doubt impacted my learning experience. Some teachers do their best to ensure that they are as communicative and forthcoming as possible, others are ambiguous and leave the students to work through things on their own. I know I’m a senior so I don’t need my hand held but being an AP student, kids like me can’t just go through the motions because there’s an end goal in mind. Nevertheless, I carried on. 

I actually liked the Zoom classes as a way to participate and see classmates and teachers. It was a great way to ask questions and go through lessons and cover material in somewhat of a classroom setting. Should the start of next school year, for K-12 learning or universities be in the form of Zoom, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea until schools can open back up. 

eLearning has provided many benefits to students. From being able to self pace throughout each week to being able to tailor my rest schedule around the start of my Zoom classes, there has been more freedom and flexibility in my schedule. But all that means that there’s more responsibility for me to ensure that I’m actually taking the time to learn what we’re doing in “class.” 

I do think that eLearning has dampened, or numbed the actual experience of going to school, and here’s why: The assignments we were given were just meant to be turned in for “participation” purposes. In the pass/fail system, it almost puts you in a mindset to do things because they need to be done. While the same mentality might already be had when we’re in school, the fact that we’re given a grade for accuracy and the content of that work means school work not just something to go through the motions with. 

I realize that these are unprecedented times and that administrations and teachers had no time to extensively plan what school would look like. But they’ve done a great job in still finding a way to have some form of completion for the school year. While it wasn’t done in the traditional manner or setting, I believe that students will be ready for next school year because we haven’t been on some layoff since March. We’ve still had things to do. Furthermore, I think students will be adapted to the system come next school year.