By Liam Moore
October 5, 2020
As we all know, school has been online because of the pandemic. Last year, students were able to experience online learning, most likely for the first time. Last year’s online learning was a struggle for both students and teachers because of AP tests and no real prior experience with online learning.
However, this year, both students and teachers are more experienced with distance learning, but has that affected the difficulty of learning in general? Personally, and I feel I can say this for the majority of students, online learning is not comparable to being in an actual classroom. For me, I feel that I get distracted easier and it’s harder to learn when I stare at a screen all day. When the teacher’s voice and lesson is all on a screen, it feels like I’m watching a less structured Khan Academy video for an hour.
Teachers have it equally as hard because they too are experiencing online learning for the first time and it’s hard to balance the amount of work they give us. It’s harder and takes longer for teachers to communicate with each other and balance the workloads from different classes.
Even though the days are two hours shorter than what we would normally have, I feel like I have even more homework. Anyone who takes AP Chemistry knows about the lengthy homework load which is overwhelming for just one class; add five other classes and it feels like there’s no escape from the homework.
I think part of the reason why homework takes so long is because everything is always on a screen. When I try to do homework after five hours on Zoom, my eyes feel like they’ve been in a chlorinated pool for too long and staring at a screen all the time feels more draining than being in a class. Even though I get more sleep now, compared to during normal school, I still feel equally as tired and more unmotivated to do schoolwork.
I don’t only speak for myself but for many others as well. Senior Ava Arlidge says “Being on a screen for four plus hours for school and then four plus more hours for homework gives me headaches.”
Junior Buddy Mulder says “I don’t like the new zoom schedule and I want to go back to normal school.”
However, there are positives to the distance learning schedule. Arlidge said, “I like that the days are shorter and it’s nice not being in the same class everyday”. Similarly, Mulder said that “Waking up later is nice,” which is definitely one of the biggest upsides to distance learning for me. Also, the alternating classes each day makes it easier to do homework for different classes. For example, having periods one, three, and five on a Monday means that the homework for those classes are due on Wednesday rather than Tuesday.
In my opinion, distance learning is not comparable to in-person learning. Learning from a screen makes it harder to learn and it can be a literal pain. However, distance learning has allowed for more sleep and the school days are shorter. Hopefully, normal school is able to return as soon as possible.