The pros and cons of remote learning

In the Middle

It is almost a full month into the school year, and although most students are back on campus, there are also several who have chosen to participate in virtual classes via Zoom. 

Eighth-grader Supriya Chatterjee chose to do online classes for the first two weeks but then changed her mind and is currently going to school in person. 

“We weren’t sure if it was really safe to come back at first,” Supriya said. “Also the online classes just seemed a little easier at the time.” However, now that she’s back, Supriya finds it much easier to learn because she has the ability to meet with teachers and can actually see what is being written on the board during class. 

Students also feel that there can be both advantages and disadvantages to being a virtual student. “I find it easier to learn in some classes but harder in others,” eighth-grader Julie Werner said. Julie said that on average, she spends four hours on Zoom classes per day, which seems short to her compared to the eight-hour school day.

“You have more time, you don’t have to wear a mask, and you can do whatever you want because you’re at your own house,” Supriya said when asked what the advantages to online classes were. But the freedom of remote learning didn’t come without disadvantages. “What I missed the most was being with my friends,” Supriya added. Julie agreed that online learning makes social interactions harder. “I do miss interacting with my friends,” she said. “However, I would still not be able to get close to anybody if I was in person.”

Although they are the ones experiencing it, these students aren’t the only ones affected by online classes. Middle School English teacher Anastasia Quinn said she teaches about seven to eight online students per day between her four classes. “In theory, I do not find the technology to be confusing, plugging it in and making it work,” she said. “However, in the moment, sometimes it doesn’t work and you go into panic mode because you’re trying to serve both the students who are there in the class while also trying to help the virtual students,” Ms. Quinn said. 

With multiple members of our community starting the school year online, both students and teachers can agree that there are pros and cons to both.