By Mia McElhatton
Over the past nine months schools and students across the country have been forced to move online for their classes. This school year looks much different from any other year. Classes take place at home often in students’ bedrooms. No longer is there the physical separation between school and home. This change has presented new challenges and impacted students in often negative ways. When talking to Max Getty, 281, he discussed the negative impacts the impacts online learning has had, saying “I think a really important part of school is the social aspect and making friends in your class. Now we don’t get an opportunity to meet new people in our classes.” This sentiment was echoed by other students who felt the fun aspects of school were gone with just the focus on work. “I just kind of am sad when I’m in school,” says Emily Harris, 282.
Though online learning has been challenging, many teachers and students have found ways to adapt to the new environment. Many students have found that classes that allow them to work with other students are much more enjoyable. It is often easier to stay engaged when there is a sense of community within the class. This community environment has helped students such as Max Getty to stay engaged. When asked about the preference of asynchronous or synchronous work there were mixed feelings. One sophomore, Matilda Brewe found that when the “asynchronous work is just going to be teaching yourself a subject” it was difficult and she would rather be synchronous work. Asynchronous work is preferred over synchronous when students are working on a project or assignment rather than teaching oneself a concept.
Students are also finding their methods to make sure they can focus in class. Matilda Brewe has found that dressing up for classes has made her more attentive in class, “I absolutely will not be paying attention if I’m just like in pajamas.” Multiple students talked about how keeping their cameras on in class forces them to pay more attention and holds them accountable. Though online learning is less than ideal over the past few months new methods and skills have helped some students to manage this new school.
Other tips for online learning…
- Try to keep the camera on when possible
- Get dressed in the morning
- Put your phone away
- Keep your environment clean
- Try to complete assignments right away
- Set time aside to talk to friend and relax when possible
- Create a schedule for the week
- Ask for help!
- Reach out to teachers, your classmates, upperclassmen or the counselors