No more screens

Margo Friloux, Staff Writer

Certain circumstances have led to online learning being introduced to many students around the U.S. learning through Zoom, Flipgrid and EdPuzzle has become a way of life for students. I dislike online learning because of its awkwardness, unreliability and isolation.  

You’re sitting at home in “class,” on a Zoom, partially listening to your teacher discuss topics that have already been posted on Google Classroom. Then you hear the teacher say, “Now I’m going to put y’all into breakout rooms.” This is every student’s worst nightmare. The uncomfortableness and awkwardness of the breakout rooms are felt by every student. Once students enter the room meant to spark discussion and learning, everyone will sit there in silence until either the teacher enters the room or some brave soul speaks up. The discomfort felt by everyone sitting there, staring at each other, saying nothing, is one of the most awkward experiences. 

During in-person school, there are some classes or assignments where the teacher takes a grade for your participation in the class. For example, in Spanish classes, students are graded on their conversations in Spanish, or how they answer the teacher’s questions in Spanish. With online school, it makes it difficult for both the teacher to grade these assignments and the students to participate. 

On Zoom, the teacher may ask a question, and none of the students will know the answer or respond. This leads to everyone staring at each other and hoping the teacher doesn’t call on students individually. It can not only be uncomfortable for the students but also the teacher, because they are inevitably speaking to a silent classroom.

Although technology can be amazing, at many times, it can also be very unreliable. Throughout Zoom sessions, students’ internet connections can lag while they are speaking, and it creates another inconvenient situation for everyone in the class. When the teacher lags students miss parts of the lessons or crucial instructions which causes confusion among all the students. Zoom also tends to kick people out of meetings randomly, so students might miss part of the lesson and have difficulty getting back in. Some teachers are still new to technology and are figuring out how to work it. This causes Google Classrooms to become very unorganized and causes much wasted time trying to navigate online tools.There have also been instances where a teacher will assign a test or quiz and accidentally put in an incorrect answer as the correct choice. When this happens, students will get confused as to why they got this question wrong and email the teacher which overwhelms both students and teachers. Overall, online school’s unreliability is an inconvenience to not only students, but the teachers as well.

Sitting at home in a room by yourself all day gets to be very tiresome. The lack of social interaction throughout the day makes each day feel like it’s stringing on for hours. Although the teachers make efforts to increase the amount of interaction, it all feels uncomfortable and forced, and it’s necessary that we learn how to adapt to this way of learning. With online school, there is no talking to your friends in the hallways, having table group discussions, or partner or group activities. These are all things that I think benefit our learning environment and make going to school more enjoyable, and we currently can’t participate in them. 

Online school is something that we will have to adapt to and learn how to work effectively with it. Overall, I believe that what we are doing online is the best way to create a school-like environment, but many inconveniences come with our new way of learning.