Students choose to learn in person or online

Grace Clancy, Staff Writer

The outbreak of the coronavirus has had effects on the function of towns and cities across the globe. It has forced upon schools the question of what to do in this new situation. Students and teachers both now try to answer the questions constantly circling the topic of school during a world pandemic. One important question is what is best for the students? Can learning online be more beneficial? Or can it cause more harm and stress during this time? With students’ unique learning styles and preferences, no method can be perfect with the current situation. With in-person learning, the opportunity to speak face to face with teachers and peers varies widely from E-learning, where communication is through a computer and students are stuck in front of a screen for hours. 

Several changes have been made within the school environment in order to adapt with the pandemic. At Jacksonville High School, learners now follow a block schedule and no longer have seven classes a day for 50 minutes; instead, students currently have three classes a day, for 87 minutes each. While these students show up to school, much is still online even for the in-person students. Every Monday everyone is online. In-person school does not take place on Mondays but online assignments are put up to be completed for the day. Physical education class has made the switch to being remote for everyone as well; while this change proves difficult for some, it remains important for safety. Staying on the continuous topic of “difficult yet safe,” masks have to be worn at all times within the building. It is not permitted to remove masks even when seated within classrooms. 

Online learning is a different side to school. Students show up to class by logging in to be taught the required material through a screen. Contact with teachers is through email and video chatting. Students don’t get the chance to feel as connected with peers and teachers with not seeing them in person every day. They stay in the comfort of their homes as well as extra safe, and the experience is even farther from the normal. With muted microphones and cameras turned off, the connection is almost non-existent and participation is no longer there. Students show up for attendance and sit through a lecture then continue along with their day. School no longer becomes a priority but a task to simply complete and forget about. School is seen as “easier,” not more beneficial. 

The new changes have proven difficult and have brought up more questions on the sensitive topic of what to do in a pandemic. Schools all over the place have had to adapt their best to the situation everyone is in. The main focus will always be about what is best for the students who are struggling just as much to figure out what is best for them.