Student opinion on remote learning

Junior Jenny Kim reflects upon the months of remote learning


Photo courtesy of Canva.

Jenny Kim, Staff Writer

You know what they all say. “Don’t take anything for granted. You never know what’s going to happen next… a single day can change your life.”

COVID-19 has affected the entire human population in countless ways, and it caused a major shift in the viewpoint of school to many students all over the world. Early last year, schools across the country were closed due to a national pandemic, causing millions of students to learn from home. 

Last March, whispers spread through the hallways and classrooms that school might be closed for a couple days.

Going back to when schools first shut down, my peers and I were so excited to take a couple days or weeks off from school. But shortly after that, schools were closed until further notice… These closures ended up lasting months, and all we wanted was to go back to school. 

We were introduced to a new school schedule- one where we saw our teachers and classmates over a video call. At first, it was new and fun. A month or two in, students were infected by Zoom fatigue and missed sitting inside the classrooms. 

While some managed to adapt to this new online environment very quickly, students in all grades struggled to maintain online learning and fight against exhaustion. Sitting inside their homes in front of their computers for hours, listening to their teachers talk and teach over a video call was very draining for all.  

The end of the 2019-2020 school year was significantly affected, as has been the 2020-2021 school year. Both advantages and disadvantages have been recognized, however, the switch to a remote learning environment has been overwhelmingly stressful. It was a difficult switch, because of the unprecedented nature of the events, but Gen Z showed resilience despite the hardships. No one was prepared for the immediate shift from traditional school to online learning. Decisions were made with an effort to keep everyone safe. Even with the downfalls, many students were able to stay balanced, and keep up with the new accommodations made to their learning. Like many other students, I have struggled with procrastination and doing homework the day before it is due. So to keep myself motivated, I created my own schedule where I set aside a time everyday for me to do my homework and assignments. This really helped me stay on top of things for school, while enjoying my personal and work time.

Teachers also had to make major adjustments in the way they taught their students. They have been brainstorming ways to go through all the lessons while keeping their students engaged. Majority of them needed to create a new schedule for the shortened timeline of the school year. It wasn’t easy, and still isn’t easy, but they are going above and beyond to do their best. Teachers being very understanding about the hardships of this situation have helped me and other students feel more confident and relieved as we continued throughout the school year. Some teachers have been very generous about the amount of workload they give us after each class, and even extended due dates to give us more time. In my opinion, the actions taken by teachers have helped my peers and I progress and grow over this challenging time.

The new type of learning COVID-19 brought has prevented students from getting the real school experience and proper education, along with causing them to lose the ability to socialize with their peers. 

Other school events that were planned were cancelled or postponed. Normal graduation and prom was far from happening. Many student athletes never got to play their regular season of sports, or even play their last games as a senior. The level of preparedness and confidence for the SAT decreased among the students. New students did not even get the chance to go into their new school and meet new classmates in person. I understand that these changes were made to keep everyone safe, but the fun and memorable school experience was compromised.

Furthermore, many adjustments were made to major testings, such as the SAT and AP exams. The AP exams were online and the SAT was postponed. Some AP exams were modified to correlate with the progress made during the school year. For instance, there were removals of sections based on the exam type, or a change in the exam format. The postponement of the SAT and ACT persuaded many colleges to offer their new enrollment students an option to apply without a test score. Although not all post secondary schools took part in this opportunity, this test optional alternative benefited a variety of students. Colleges should continue to keep the SAT optional for their future admissions. This option makes students feel more confident when they apply for colleges because it gives them a greater opportunity to show who they are, outside of their standardized test grades. 

School education has taken a new path due to COVID-19, and students and educators around the world have been working their way through the ups and downs. Now that we have experienced these new changes with remote learning and schedule changes, little by little, we are all learning together and we will continue to work together to improve and overcome the challenges this pandemic has brought on school education.