BEACON

Is Online School the Best Option for Students?

You wake up at 8:30 am getting ready for school that’s a click away. You think it’s going to be fine, then your device shuts down, disconnects, glitch out, you’ve missed out on what the teacher was teaching. You leave class and come back hoping that you can see what the teacher is presenting, you see nothing. Not to make matters worse but your entire family is on the WiFi at the same time, hours on end. But after you are done with school, you get right back on the device to complete assignments, and look at stuff you missed, you can feel your eyes getting weaker from the screen (P.A make sure your blue light filter is on). This cycle repeats everyday, from weeks, maybe even months.

        Even though this is not the preferred way to learn, because COVID-19 it’s the safest option for now. Many students had to adapt to this change, some in a positive way. Laila Sivels ’21, “Online learning has affected me in a good way. I am learning how to manage my time and procrastinate less, and at the same time being at home has given me more time to relax.” In a brighter light, many students, like Laila, have been more productive with organizing and more relaxing, doing work they are more comfortable in. Not only did students have to adapt, many teachers did too. Teachers at Whitney Young have been working on new ways to involve all types of learners. Finding ways for students who simply do not retain information when a teacher just lectures them over the screen for hours, especially when they have been experiencing technological difficulties, have included many other sources to their classes. For example sites like Nearpod, Skillshare, Jamboard, Scratch, Peardeck, Quizlet, Kahoot, Soundtrap, Podcasts etc. help these students learn and stay engaged in the class. 

       But so far online school has not been 100% accessible with people with disabilities. With problems ranging from not being able to read lips on the screen, no interpreter, and not having captions on the off sites, when needed.

      Overall it’s a stressful new way of learning for many students as well as teachers , and makes it harder for them to stay motivated in school. Many students of Whitney young had some feeling they have lost motivation or that they find online learning much harder or stressful than actual school. Jason Xia ‘22, responded to the effect online learning has on him by noting, “It’s made me a bit more aware of how I learn personally and I don’t particularly like the fact that it’s hard to engage. I feel that you really need that proper environment to learn and the same goes for teachers…”.Radiant Williams ‘23 stated, “It’s been a roller coaster. I’m glad we start at 9 am, but the school still has so many expectations as if everything is normal which is extremely stressful”. Students feel like it’s a challenge to engage because of it not being the normal school setting, reasons why teachers try to incorporate various sites like the ones stated above.

          Even when there is a split of students who like online school or don’t like it, they have taken a liking to the Orange and Blue day schedule at Whitney Young. This schedule having four classes a day and advisory, helped students adjust to learning online instead of having all seven classes at once.

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.
Is Online School the Best Option for Students?