Virtual Learning: What a Lag

Virtual learning is a consistent threat for kids as the Coronavirus runs wild around the world. Going virtual is definitely a learning curve for both teachers and students.

I don’t personally like them but I understand why we do them, still I think we shouldn’t have to do work on snow days”

— Alyssa Ward

There are however some pros to going virtual. Virtual learning offers a flexible learning environment for children. The teachers post the assignment for the day and the students can finish the work whenever it is covenient for them. It allows children to work at their own pace without the stress of not finishing within class time.

Distance learning also allows the students to continue with their part time and full time work schedules and other activities, while earning a certificate, diploma or a degree. In addition to this, distance learning allows the students to start at times when we are actually awake and ready for engagement.  

While there are some pros to virtual learning, there are also drawbacks. When the physical interaction between teachers and students is missing, then students tend to lose personal interaction with their educators as well as motivation and thereby students develop lower, perhaps even failing grades.

I felt very unmotivated and sad. It was really hard to focus on my work and nothing I did was of good quality”

— Piper Gamby

In virtual learning students are not required to attend a classroom in person. They are isolated, hence they don’t get the same sort of interaction with other students in the class. This often causes the teacher to lose student interaction and they are not able to engage the student at the same level. In traditional ways of learning, the students get the opportunity to thrive in an environment where learning can take place in a community way. This element is often lost in with virtual learning and often leads to a less academically challenging enivronment. 

Having a access to the  internet is also a big issue for students in rural locations. For those who don’t have a reliable source of electricity or don’t have reliable internet, it can be difficult to always get to a friend’s house, a cafe, a library or somewhere else where internet access is readily available. This kind of access is crucial for distance learning. Some programs may even require you to have a DVD or CD player for certain materials or other types of equipment that you have to purchase, find, or rent for yourself (not to mention figure out how to use them properly). All of this is on top of the fact that your computer could quit at any moment, and for no reason, or your power could go out for a few days and suddenly you’re behind with no way to fix it.

Although virtual/distance learning is a consent threat,  Sheridan has not done virtual or hybrid learning with the exception of snow days. Personally, I think virtual learning is definitely a struggle because the internet is slow, and I can barely join required Google Meets. Howeve,r if you’re a student who has reliable internet access and the motivation to complete assignments on time, online learning may be a a appropriate learning route for you to take.  Regardless of the struggles, online learning will most likely be a part of K-12 education and finidng soultions and engagement will be necessary to keep students on track.