In-person vs. online schooling: my perspective

The topic has been debated, but as someone who’s had to do both, I’ll explain my viewpoint.

Although less than ideal, students must find ways to compromise during this rough school year.

Although less than ideal, students must find ways to compromise during this rough school year.

Alex Kajda, Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 15th was a casual day for me at school. I arrived home, rested a little bit, and went on with my afternoon. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred until around 7 PM, when I had heard of a COVID-19 case at the school. I wasn’t too worried about it; that was until I heard that it happened in one of my classes, and I was sitting directly in the danger zone of the classroom. I was hit with the ten-day quarantine email from school, and I had to change to online for the time being.

I was kind of upset at this, considering that I was finally getting used to and getting in the rhythm of being back in school once again, only for things to take a turn. I wouldn’t be able to talk to friends in school for another two weeks, and I would have to wait a bit before feeling the joy of the bell ringing and walking out to the student parking lot after school. I got tested for COVID-19 the next day; the results luckily came back negative, but I still had to wait out the remainder of the week and a half by doing school online. Through doing so, I’ve noticed many advantages and disadvantages of doing school online as opposed to in-school, and whether one method is better than the other is up to students to make their mind up.

Although less than ideal, students must find ways to compromise during this rough school year.

As for the advantages of doing online school, a major one is that you’re in a comfortable environment. Obviously, there’s no better place than home, and being able to do things like grab food or watch TV during class is nothing short of convenient. Also, rather than having to get going to school around 7 AM or even earlier for some, which often requires waking up at 6 AM and following a strict and compact morning routine, online school goers can easily sleep until around 7:20 and log into their 1st period half asleep and get caught up pretty easily afterwards. Not having to wear a mask for seven hours is a big win too, as the comfortability of online school is a major advantage. Students can even sleep through their earlier periods if their class isn’t doing anything on that day, allowing them to be more refreshed throughout the later day. East Lake High School senior and fellow acquaintance Alexander Jamal, who decided to take his first quarter of this year online, stated, “It really helps you be more organized because it rewards you with more time to plan out your day. I like to work independently. Working alone is just quicker and less time consuming.”

Now, as great and as luxurious as doing online school sounds, there are some disadvantages of doing so as well. One, I often find myself losing focus and engagement throughout class periods, especially those where a teacher is lecturing for 40 minutes. Specifically, I had a class where students were doing presentations, and I could not focus whatsoever the whole time, I was finding other things to do instead during the time being. Being home allows for students to be distracted much easier, rather than being forced to learn such as when doing so in person. Also, some teachers who aren’t as tech savvy can end up making the job more difficult for the student as well, namely teachers who find difficulty in sharing their screen, forcing students to look at blurry whiteboards or projectors in which they can’t read or view any of the information. Another disadvantage is the end of the day, which is extremely unsatisfying. At the end of a normal school day, one usually gets released, trots out to the student parking lot, gets some sunshine, finally rips their mask off, converses and socializes with friends for a bit before finally heading home, which is a satisfying way to end one’s day. Online, however, I just end my 7th period call, and I’ve already been home the whole time, so there’s nothing really satisfying about it, I don’t quite get the same feeling of relief as when I end a normal day.

To conclude, it all depends on personal preference. If one prefers their comfort and environment while learning, then they should lean towards online school. But for someone who values the information they learn at school and can lose track of focus easily, the in-school approach likely fits them better, with the added bonus of some social interaction if they attend school on campus. Whether one attends school online or in-school, we’re all hoping that everyone is able to learn equally and that things could possibly get back to normal sooner or later.