Imagine sitting at a desk in front of a computer for 7 hours, staring at a screen while the teacher attempts to teach over Google Meet. Most students are muted and have their camera turned off so all a teacher can do is hope that their students are engaged and listening. Maybe you take a break after school ends, and you go right back to the computer to finish homework or study for a test you have on the next day. Welcome to the life of a remote learning student.
Remote learning can be considered ideal for students because it is easy to check out and go do something else without the teacher ever knowing, but this is not sufficient enough for students to learn and retain information. So in many ways, although students may not like it as much, in-person learning is a more effective way for students to learn as the on-screen time creates too many limitations, and according to Claire Macellaio (Whitney Young ’21), “With online learning, in class discussions and lessons are not the same so it’s hard to stay engaged and motivated.”
Additionally, even after one year of hybrid or fully remote learning, some teachers may not have 100% solution and adjustment to teaching online. Like Teresa Pan (Whitney Young, ’21) said, “Some teachers still have been unable to adapt to online learning: either using methods that don’t really work online, or just being unable to teach at all.” This type of environment holds a huge factor in the quality of a student’s education. Students should not be expected to learn and retain information the same way they would when in-person. There is only so much a teacher can do as they may not have had the best training, and it is difficult for the teacher to encourage students because this interaction is not face-to-face.
On the other hand, remote learning means more accountability on the student and less dependent on how much the teacher can enforce certain rules. When students don’t procrastinate they are often found with more time to get other things done. Cece Joshi (Lane Tech, ’21) said that, “Remote learning gives me more time in my schedule to do what I want, especially other things that are unrelated to school.” Having to build your own study schedule can also benefit students in becoming more independent in their learning which is especially beneficial as students move onto college.
Looking at it from a distance, the transition to remote learning could be better in the long run. It gives a “Plan B” for teachers, students and organizations like CPS, better preparations and policies are in place if something like this happens again, and it is good to have more options for schools where remote learning or hybrid learning may work better than a full in-person classroom.