Students engage in virtual learning for the first time

Student+virtual+school+set+up.+Many+students+are+using+monitors+along+with+their+school+computers+to+increase+their+productivity.

Photo courtesy of: Carson Krahe

Student virtual school set up. Many students are using monitors along with their school computers to increase their productivity.

Lauren Brennan, Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Managing Print Editor

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Online school has been a dream for some and a nightmare for others. Many students’ grades are very different from what they would normally be, with some rising to unseen levels and others dropping lower than ever before. This year has brought on new challenges both academically and socially for students. With only 497 students signaling their intent to go back to school, we can see that students are not excited for the new in-person experience being offered. Students would have to wear face masks, limit social interactions, sit apart in class, and have their every move tracked. 

   With online school, students are able to completely zone out of a class while their cameras and microphones are off. With there being no mandate on students having their cameras on students can easily take naps during school hours and do all of their work after school. Some teachers are finding unique ways to combat this problem. Some create discussions for students to participate in, have group activities, or even play virtual games. Online school has been a dream for some and a nightmare for others. Many students’ grades are very different from what they would normally be, with some rising to unseen levels and others dropping lower than ever before. This year has brought on new challenges both academically and socially for students. With only 497 students signaling their intent to go back to school, we can see that students are not excited for the new in-person experience being offered. Students would have to wear face masks, limit social interactions, sit apart in class, and have their every move tracked. 

   Generation Z is known for its many professional and self-diagnosed anxiety and attention disorders. This can be a major struggle when doing online school. With easy, unregulated access to phones and social media, it’s very easy to get distracted. Virtual school also means that there is little to no face-to-face social interaction. This has been an obstacle for people who were already struggling with mental health issues. Being in a dark room alone for most of the day seems to be a major issue in which students don’t want to do work at all, much less do it on time.  

   “Honestly, I’m struggling a lot getting work done because I am a social person and I learn through face-to-face connection.” junior Maryam Rabiutheen said. 

   Some students are also struggling with finding the motivation to wake up and move to their desks by 9 a.m.

   “My biggest struggle is getting up early,” said senior Payton Bunting 

   Students who have a history of getting good grades have also seen a major shift in content absorption due to the lack of motivation to engage more deeply in the lessons. 

   “I think it is safe to say that the level of education we are receiving is not nearly as high as what we were getting in school. I think it has to do with people’s willingness to actually do the work. Teachers know this and they are grading it like it. Which means that we don’t have to put in as much effort,” Maryam said.

   Although many students would like to be back in the building, there’s also an understanding of why we’re at home.

   “I completely understand why we need to be at home right now. It’s for the safety of others. I think it’s a good idea to keep us home until February, especially to avoid mix-ups during flu season,” sophomore Zaara Ahmed said.

   School at home has been a learning experience for both students and teachers. Teachers are coming up with new ways to engage students. One of the most common ways teachers are having students engage and show what they are learning are through in class discussions and discussion boards on Schoology. Another way students are engaging is through group labs and assessments.