During these past eight months, students have been forced to adopt a new way of living and with it, a new way of learning. Students have mixed opinions regarding the new system, with some believing it hampers their learning and others seeing it as a less-stressful system than conventional school.
Many students believe that having school in-person helps them focus more, work faster, and overall just function better with all the physical aspects.
“There are less distractions in a classroom. If you lose focus, the teacher may be able to get you back on track,” freshman Andrew Ding said. “You can experience the lesson in-person, and it is easier for you to understand, because the teacher can use things like the chalkboard/whiteboard to demonstrate.”
On the other hand, some students see in-person school as a source of exhaustion and stress, which have been removed since the introduction of virtual learning.
“Virtual learning has made the school year much better for me, personally. I am not very social, and being able to work at home at my own pace with much less stress is very refreshing. I wish that virtual learning was an option throughout the [regular] school year in my opinion,” sophomore Michael Morton said.
In an attempt to allow for some in-person learning this year, many school districts across the country have implemented a hybrid school system with some days having in-person schooling and others with virtual schooling. By combining the two ways of learning, a system could be created that satisfies the education of the student with the included in-person benefits. However, just like the fully-virtual learning systems, students have mixed opinions of the hybrid model.
The reason why a student would support the hybrid system stems mainly from whether or not they prefer in-person learning over virtual, which many do. However, this system introduces discrepancies in the school schedule which some do not like, regardless of their learning system preferences.
“I think that we should just go to school everyday or make it virtual every day, because if we split it, people will have to remember when to go and when not to go to school. It is a hassle, in my opinion, because I have to do double the effort instead of sticking to a steady schedule,” said Ding.
Many of the students who supported the hybrid learning model have recently changed their opinions due to the growing COVID-19 concerns. Students worry that having school in-person, even if on certain days, will just help to spread the virus and endanger the lives of staff and teachers even more.
“I would only return to school when there is a [vaccine that is proven to work]. I dislike the idea of hybrid learning where students go [to school in-person on certain days], or any other plan which does not involve a vaccine,” sophomore Daniel Louis said.
Throughout the months that have passed since quarantine began, people have become more aware of the risks of COVID-19. Some students believe that risk-lowering factors such as wearing masks, being socially distanced, etc. could be applied to schools if hybrid learning was implemented.
“I think that returning to school is completely possible if we follow social distancing rules and wear masks… different people could come on different days so that there aren’t too many people in the school at the same time,” freshman Alejandro Soto said.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought everyone countless life-changing challenges, including students having to adapt to learning while staring at screens with no human contact. Regardless of any education process or system that will be implemented, the world will not return to normalcy until the virus is put under control. However, with the good news regarding a vaccine that could be rolling out later this year, a long-awaited break may be right around the corner.