Online Learning Halted Progress of Students

Online Learning Halted Progress of Students

Vincent Shockley, Reporter

March 13, 2020 was the last “normal day” of school. Since then, we have gone through an entire year with the majority of students taking class from home. Many students have been caught lacking behind due to this year, there can be multiple pinpointed reasons. 

For some students, grades plummeted in the new format as they couldn’t focus with the distraction at home. Others had their grades soar as they had the ability to complete their work from the comfort of their own home. Nevertheless, those days are over and we are back in class (person to person) and some are struggling with this return.

One West Boca student (who preferred his name not be said) claimed that there was very little difference between online classes and in-person classes claiming that it may have been an inconvenience (not being able to connect with the teachers as well) but not too big of a change. His grades remained up to par with his usual grades throughout the year with hardly any change. 

Others opted to go to school in the 2020-2021 school year. Vincent Vertullo, 11, said that he fell behind last year and lacked motivation with the lack of peers in the classroom. This lack of motivation seems to be a common theme throughout those when describing last year (in-person or virtual).

Personally, I feel like I fell behind (in certain classes) last year as well. In my English class (and my other writing based classes) I felt comfortable and was able to keep up with the pace. On the other hand, science and math were more difficult than ever. I found that I couldn’t pay attention throughout the entirety of lectures, especially being in the comfort of my own home. Although I did decently in both of the classes, I still feel as if I’m behind in math despite moving on to a different course. 

Maya Zohar (a member of our own newspaper) struggled a lot last year. Due to her learning best visually, it was very hard for her to pay attention or retain any information from her classes. She claimed, “It’s hard for me to sit in front of a computer… not interactive or anything,” when explaining what it was about online classes that did not suit her. While in person, Maya also had much more motivation working along with peers rather than sitting in bed at 8 in the morning learning mathematical formulas. 

On a national, state, and local scale, it has been acknowledged that students fell behind a lot last year (despite grades rising). Math teachers are struggling to pick up where their previous teacher left off as many students do not remember, or never learned how to do said concept through online school. Also, many teachers allowed open note tests (mostly due to the fact that they couldn’t truly control what the students were doing on the other side of the camera) which made it much easier for students. Now, students must memorize concepts prior to tests which results in very low grades. 

This year may be even more challenging than last year for some as they have to get used to doing things on school time, not their own time. Regardless, I have confidence that I will catch up as well as many of my peers.