Online School vs. Traditional School
BY LINDSAY IRMITER
Online school is a new experience for most students across America, and the world. The coronavirus has taken the world by storm, and has resulted in over 200,000 deaths world wide. Due to the quick spread of the disease all countries and states were forced to go into lock down, and were forced to figure out how to keep life moving from within quarantine, and that includes school. No matter what you think about online school, most students can agree that there are negatives and positives to both online and traditional school.
Online school offers more flexibility, because you can work at your own pace, and you don’t have to wait for a bell to move on to other work. “I like being able to work at my own pace without being rushed by a bell or by teachers,” said sophomore, Payton Glenn.
Another positive is being able to work at home, and not having to wake up early to brave a long commute. It also allows for less distractions (not counting siblings, and distractions like your phone, and many other things) from other students, like in a classroom. However the downfall of working from home is that technology is not very reliable, which is challenging considering that every assignment in online school is online. With technology it’s also hard to connect one on one with a teacher, because you don’t have the opportunity to meet them in person to talk about your problems you have to either meet via google meet or email.
“It is so much easier to go to school,” said one Learning Lab student. “When you go to school everything you need is given to you. I’ve been quite frustrated because I have to find my class material in all different places, schoology, gmail, and google docs, it has been hard and unclear for me, and I have been unsuccessful and unproductive for most of my days. Another reason going to school is easier is because you have a teacher you can talk to and get the answer you need immediately.”
On the other hand it’s hard to meet with teachers during class in a traditional classroom if you’re confused, because you move as a class, whereas online school allows you to go back into google meets and talk with the teacher one on one about what you’re confused about. With traditional school, it’s beneficial to talk face to face with teachers, but you can only really meet with them before or after school, which can be an inconvenience to both the teacher and the student. With traditional school, you always know what you’re doing, because the plan is laid out so you have more of a structure to your day.
“Some Learning Lab students are thriving working online, because they don’t have all the social and environmental distractions they would have at school,” said learning lab specialist, Elaine Ekstedt. “They are also doing better, because their workload has been reduced a little and the timing has been spread out more. Some are doing worse because they have more distractions at home, and managing their own time has al- ways been a problem and now it is more difficult than ever, so they’re being overwhelmed and giving up.”
Traditional school also offers a sense of community that you don’t get when you look at a screen all day. According to Vice Principal Mike DiNardo, who will be the Principal of Minnehaha upper campus next fall, school is a time to see your friends and socialize with classmates. It also allows you to learn important life skills, through sports and other extra curriculars. “Students missing out on athletics and student activities is also a huge challenge since those aspects of high school are so important for motivation and lasting memories,” said DiNardo.
Even though online school can be a challenge, it makes you realize how amazing the gift of going to school really is, and it’s not some- thing to take for granted. As a world we can learn from this experience and grow, and hopefully come out of this better than when we went in.