As the cases of the coronavirus begin to rise, parents and students are left to decide, whether they would rather go back to school, or do online school. As of March last year, students were sent home before spring break and never returned.
Arizona now has more than 198,000 cases, making the choice difficult for parents and students alike for whether or not they want to return to school. Many of the students have never done online learning before, making it difficult to arrange.
“I feel more relaxed in online school because I can nap in between classes on our break time especially if we get out early. I didn’t want to risk my life or others and potentially get infected with the coronavirus,” said Sonoran Fox, a former Cactus Shadows student.
Other major concerns during the pandemic have been lack of access to equipment and the internet.
“Students without reliable, fast internet or suitable devices for schoolwork or people around them to help are spotlighted in the shift to virtual education,” said Christine Greenhow, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University in an article from CollegeRaptor.com.
Many schools are considering a hybrid model in which some learning is online and some is in-person. This allows for parents and students to choose whether or not they would like to return back to school, or go fully online.
“I definitely have a lot more freedom doing online than if I was doing in-person school. I also find that I am less distracted by others because I am in my own space, alone and I can go at my own pace. I have more free-time, and the time it takes to do schoolwork has decreased a lot,” said Sabrina Bell, a Cactus Shadows alum.
Some positive sides of online learning include a decrease in interaction with others, distance learning offers a higher opportunity, and those who had limited learning due to financial struggles, online makes it achievable to get a full learning experience. The cons of online school are based on social interactions and discipline during in-person school, that you don’t get doing online.
“Social interaction is a huge part of the whole university and highschool experience.The extra flexibility and lack of accountability leaves much room for students to procrastinate. Many students struggle to stay motivated and stay on track with studying and completing their assignments,” said the College Raptor Staff.
There are advantages and disadvantages using distance learning, but it is ultimately up to the school district to decide whether or not students will be allowed to return to school or continue with online.