Views on Online Learning

Kaitlyn Smitten, Staff Writter

Due to the current world pandemic nothing has been normal. Nobody can go anywhere or participate in their usual extracurricular activities. Here, in Arizona, cases have been rising rapidly making it near impossible to move forward.  In addition to not being able to participate in extracurricular activities, in person school has also been cancelled which has led to students learning via Zoom. 

Although Zoom meetings allow for learning, it is still difficult for teachers to interact with students and assist them one on one.

“So much of checking for understanding isn’t just about getting questions answered. It’s about body language,”  said Kelly Simon, sophomore english teacher. “It’s not my first choice, but for the moment, in order to get our numbers down and get things under control, it is our only choice.” 

Online learning does not allow for teachers to directly interact with students and check for understanding like you usually would in the classroom. Teachers also find it harder to build relationships with their students and feel connected with them.

When asked about Simon’s views on students’ online learning experience Simon said, “I don’t think this is an easier format than being in the classroom.”

Online learning does, however, benefit some students and lets them learn individuality and help with time management. 

“I think that online learning gives students the opportunity to learn on their own, which helps prepare them for college,” said Kory Robb, senior. 

Along with time management, individual online learning students must remain self motivated.

“Online learning lets students explore more learning techniques,” Robb said, “Now I have to keep myself on task. I now am more of a visual learner.”

Now that students must remain self motivated they have discovered new learning techniques to help them stay motivated. 

“I write down my to do list and don’t let myself do any fun activities until it is completed. I also work on my homework during Zoom meeting down time” Robb said. 

Though online learning allows some students to express themselves, it does make some students lose motivation. 

“On Zoom it’s harder to pay attention and more easy to get distracted,” said Mirage Martin, sophomore. 

Staying on task is more difficult due to being in the comfort of one’s own room. Some students can get off task and sleep, talk to their siblings, or go on their phones during Zoom instructional time. 

“It’s not as interactive, and I feel like students can’t check for understanding,” Martin said. “Teachers can’t check to make sure students are engaged and on task.”

With the inability to see what is going on behind the screen, teachers find difficulty in helping students stay on task and making sure they understand the material. Students have to have more integrity on assignments and teachers have to have more trust in their students to do the right thing. 

“I feel like all of my assignments are missing, but it feels like I’ve done a lot of them,” Martin said. “Missing work is a big issue especially being online.” 

Being online, teachers and students don’t feel as connected as they would in person. Teachers don’t have the opportunity to build relationships with students and students don’t have the ability to build trust with their teachers.

 “I like to get to know my teachers and their personalities and bond with them over shared interests. It helps me feel more confident in the material I am being taught” Martin says.