Driver’s Ed in a Pandemic

Students explain how driver’s ed functions in a virtual setting.

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Covid-19 has been the root of many different changes to everyday life. Teenagers all over the country look forward to getting their license every year, but with the current situation, driver’s education has had to create significant alterations. Online driver’s ed courses have been available in some states even before the pandemic, and most teens have strong opinions about whether they prefer online courses or regular one-on-one driving classes.
Teens who prefer online courses say that it’s easier to be able to take these courses from home instead of having to go to the school.,
“I take driver’s ed online now, and we learn the same thing, just online,” junior Madhu Loganathan said. “It’s a lot easier, and getting in the specific number of hours is easier too.”
For some students, virtual driver’s ed makes it easier to complete the total number of hours required by the state of Maryland, which is currently 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind the wheel instruction training. Although the classroom hours can easily be completed online, the six in-car hours must be done in person.
Some students were able to complete in-person training during Phase 2 of the Covid Reopening Plan.
“I take driver’s ed online, but I took the behind the wheel part in person,” Lukas Starvis said.
Although some teens prefer online classes, others believe that being one-on-one with the instructor and present in class is the better fit for them. In-person driver’s ed is almost identical to school, so more social and inquisitive students may prefer this option.
“I would rather have in person driver’s ed because online just isn’t the same,” junior Lukas Starvis said.
Other students feel like they are missing out on a positive experience while stuck in online learning.
“In person driver’s ed is more of an experience” senior Stephanie Starvis claimed.
It’s safe to say that both online and in-person drivers education have their pros and cons, and it depends on the student and their preferences which will best suit them. Although taking driver’s ed in a pandemic is very different from what most teens experience, this is the world that students are living in for now. After making the necessary changes to keep everyone safe, online driver’s ed programs are still the best way to get a new driver’s license.