All in-person classes halted last March 16, 2020 due to the spread of the Coronavirus. Then, on April 19, 2021 Chicago Public Schools students returned to in-person learning at school. Some students chose to continue remote learning and some chose to return to in-person learning. Since we spent over a year learning remotely, we have concluded that there are many pros and cons to this new reality.
The first pro of remote learning is it is convenient and there is no commute time. Richard Raclaw, ‘21, says, “I don’t have to worry about the long commute to and from school.” This cut commute time allows students more time to get our work done without stressing. Joseph Cumpian, ‘21, says, “Absence of commute time has allowed me to be more productive and have more time to complete my work and college apps. Additionally, remote learning has given me more freedom with my education and how I use my class time.” Remote learning gives us a bit more freedom in how we spend our day. The extra time is nice to have. Another pro of remote learning is students are able to get more rest. David Furst, ‘21, says, “I can lie down and rest when I have downtime.” This is vital as we are growing humans in need of rest in order to blossom into who we are supposed to be. Even if we aren’t sleeping we could use that time to lie down and watch Youtube, Netflix, or even get on social media sites like Twitter or Instagram. Although there are many benefits, there are also many cons.
The first con of remote learning is being educated on a computer can make school feel longer than normal and more boring. Dayana Alvarado, ‘21, says, “I can’t see my friends in person and the longer class periods make the class seem like they last forever.” This goes hand and hand with the fact that students not being able to see our friends makes us unmotivated. Jordan Quinones, ‘21, says, “It is difficult to stay engaged because there are a lot of distractions at home. Also, I believe I have lost motivation.” The days feel longer, the work seems heavier, the classes feel more boring. These aspects definitely negatively affect our moods. Chloe Kim, ‘21, says, “As a senior, I miss the chance of seeing my friends during passing periods and being on a screen all day tends to affect my mood as well.” Remote learning can be lonely, draining, and overall difficult for us mentally and physically.
Remote learning is worse than in person learning because it takes the whole purpose out of school. Since students aren’t learning and we don’t get to see or talk to our friends, what are we truly getting out of this experience?