GRAPHIC BY DENISE THUONG
By CLAIRE LAW
Since the coronavirus outbreak, schools have shut down and had students quarantine at home. During this pandemic, students still had to continue their education no matter what. So the only way to proceed to learn was to switch to distance learning using apps including Zoom and Google Classroom.
But after taking some online classes and remote learning, I have come to realize that online classes and remote learning are not the promising educational opportunities they are made out to be.
Firstly, there is an exceeding lack of willingness and desire from students to learn. Students are simply not motivated in online classes and remote learning. In a typical classroom setting, students are accustomed to a time-efficient learning curriculum and face-to-face learning, but distance learning outcomes tend to be obscure in the entirety of the process. Students simply complete their assignments to receive credit or a passing grade, rather than genuinely engaging with the course material.
In addition, since there are no daily scheduled meeting times for class, students must rely on self-discipline to get through the material on their own. Many students, especially procrastinators, have found themselves cramming for assignment deadlines and tests because they did not plan out study session times throughout the semester. In short, distance learning and remote classrooms are not an effective way to learn.
Moreover, there are many distractions at home that can disrupt students from learning. Many households include pets and siblings that can cause a huge distraction causing it harder for students to focus on their school work.
Not to mention, while there are lots of exceptional teachers on a school campus, not all of them are equipped or ready to move their instruction completely online. Given the spontaneity of the outbreak and its unforeseen consequences, school administration and teachers were not nearly prepared to switch to online teaching and providing students with assignments through applications.
Online classes and remote learning also require either a computer or laptop and a reliable internet connection. Not all students have access to these types of resources, whether it be for financial or other reasons, and it can put them at a disadvantage to their other classmates. Luckily, many school districts have been able adapt as much as possible to this new reality and offer students solutions such as free laptops, hotspots and even access to meals at times when we need it most.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of taking online classes and remote learning is the absence of face-to-face interaction between the teacher and their students.
Regardless, offering distance learning certainly helps students who would not be able to attend in-room class sessions. However, they fail to provide a genuine education with an emphasis on convenience rather than critical thinking. If anything, the turn of recent events has opened an entirely new perspective to change and it is clear remote learning should be restructured to accommodate a more proper learning experience that will provide a quality education at this difficult time.