Transitioning Between Learning Options

By: Maddison Blose 

     Imagine waking up every day and connecting to your class online, everyone with their mics and cameras off, working silently. Sounds boring, right? The online version of teaching and learning is relatively new to many teachers and students, and a recent rise in COVID-19 cases resulted in a temporary transition to remote learning. Many teachers and students were glad to be away, while others struggled and wished we were still learning in person.  Looking at both options, which one do you prefer? 

     One of the most common reasons students prefer online learning is because they can sleep in until right before class starts and they can learn more independently. Also, some students have study halls or classes that do not make calls, which allows for a quick break. Although these are valid reasons, they also present conflicts, such as falling asleep and getting distracted. Mrs. Vanatta expressed that “The worst part of being online was we had to do it, knowing some students struggled, and not knowing if students are understanding,” but she enjoyed the students’ willingness to participate online and hearing them wish her a good day at the end of class. Having your own space and working independently is nice, but it is important to remain on task and not fall behind. 

     Looking at option one, or learning in person, frequent reasons for that preference are that it allows hands on learning. The hands-on learning style is a commonly preferred way of learning because it helps students better understand the content.  Mrs. Vanatta shared with The Squire that she prefers offline learning because “it is easier to gain feedback from students. I can see what you are doing and if you are doing it correctly.” Also, school is a popular way that students can interact with their friends. Although it is nice to have daily social interactions with the people you enjoy, it is also important to ensure the safety of yourself and others around you during this pandemic. Connecting virtually lowers the chance of a spread and ultimately decreases the number of cases of COVID-19.  

     During these difficult times, the cases within the district could rise at any time and it is important that everyone is prepared in case a sudden move to online learning must take place. One of the most difficult parts of the transition for students can be a lack of motivation and support. It is important to remember to stay up to date on assignments and to remember that technology presents many ways to communicate, and you can always email a teacher for help. Mrs. Vanatta added that the most difficult part for her as a teacher was transferring everything online in a student-friendly way, which she makes easier by testing different methods and sticking with the most effective one. Similar to Mrs. Vanatta, you can find which ways work the best to reach out to each teacher and stick with those methods.  

      There are many different pros and cons to each option, and it is up to you to determine the best style for you. Some students continued their learning online instead of transitioning back to option one, while others were happy to be back. The Squire thanks you for reading and wishes you luck with the rest of the school year, regardless of the learning method used. 

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