Opinion: Online schooling is detrimental to students’ learning

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Angelina Vitarelli, Writer

On March 12, Fenton High School students attended their last full day of school of the 2019-2020 school year, although they didn’t know it at the time. The decision to close schools for the remainder of the year was announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on April 2, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The decision to close schools has majorly affected all students and teachers, forcing them to solely rely on online resources. 

Although the use of online resources can be beneficial, it was not meant to be the only way students contact teachers. It adds a level of difficulty, for example, a student who struggles in math may not be able to do the assignments to the best of their ability without the teacher’s instruction and availability. Although emails can be sent, teachers are now swamped with needs from students around the clock because of the schedule students have, or lack thereof. 

Not to mention that often emailing is a faulty way of communication.The student has to wait until the teacher is available, even if they are ready to finish the assignment. Students don’t want their work turned in, having done it wrong. A student may also need immediate help. An email may get lost and never reach the recipient or could miss it in their inbox altogether. Even though teachers are trying their best, the lack of face-to-face communication is an issue. 

Another major difference with only online schooling is the lack of face-to-face discussion and interaction students usually experience at school. Normally students are allowed to ask each other questions about an assignment while everyone is doing it at the same time. This enables students to bounce ideas off of one another and gauge others opinions on a concept, or their approach to an assignment.  

Students who struggle more often in school may not have the self-motivation, self-regulation and organization that is necessary when taking online classes. According to the website Campus Explorer, which explores several topics similar to this one, online schooling is not able to provide extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs, both of which can be educational, and provide a social outlet.

It is one thing to get the assignment in class and have it explained with clear instructions. It is another to have it posted on Google Classroom with limited help and teacher access. Online schooling may become more popular in the future with the current COVID-19 crisis, but it has limited long-term benefits.