Freedom Middle School sits empty of students as students attend classes virtually from home via Google Meet. (Mrs. Miller)
Freedom Middle School sits empty of students as students attend classes virtually from home via Google Meet.

Mrs. Miller

Virtual learning versus in-school learning: which is better?

September 25, 2020

Virtual school is the best option for students because of the pandemic

The virus that causes coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is fostered by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and it spread around the world, which started a pandemic. Due to the pandemic, a fair amount of students – including myself – believe that virtual school is the best option for Freedom. 

Coronavirus still lingers around the United States to this day. Approximately 700 cases have been reported in Pennsylvania on Sept. 20. Because of new cases commonly being publicized, is it the safest decision for the students to be attending school in person at this time?

 “Virtual is the best option right now because there are still cases and some restrictions are still in place.” comments Lainey Tuszynski, an eighth grader.

Tuszynski mentioned how there are restrictions for coronavirus. The restrictions include; masks in all public places, indoor assemblages of people must have under 25 guests, outdoor assemblages must have under 250 people, and more. If these restrictions are still in place, in school learning will be difficult to manage. 

Other students, such as Elizabeth Smith, think otherwise. 

“I get to see my friends and I have a teacher in front of me teaching when we are in school.” states Smith. 

Smith states that she wants to be inside the school building because she prefers seeing her friends in person and having a teacher in front of her, which is a recurrent argument from the majority of the students. I disagree with this explanation because of how risky it will be for us to be attending school at this time. 

Students should be in school learning in person

 Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are not able to be in school. I think that we should be in school. School is not just about learning and getting your work done, it’s also about interacting with people your age. Students can’t interact with people while they’re in a Google Meet.  It’s also nice to get out of the house every day. We have been stuck inside for so long now, we’re all getting cabin fever. When you’re in school you can ask questions if you don’t understand, or if you don’t want to ask the teacher, you can just ask a student if they know how to do that particular thing. But in online school, you don’t have that ability.

It’s also about the parents. It’s hard for parents to try to do their job, and also have to homeschool their children. This is more towards the elementary side, where students are not as independent. This is because younger kids, most of the time, don’t really understand how to do stuff on a computer, and their attention span is shorter. I’m sure parents do not want to be stressed if their younger child is on the Google Meet or not. Then there’s turning stuff in, a lot of people have trouble doing that too, some people have trouble figuring out how to use a computer. A school is a safe place for children, while their parents are working. 

Some people also may have bad internet connections where they live. If they are constantly having to re-join a Meet because their internet keeps going on and off, they can’t learn much. Also, some people might have a hard time learning over a computer screen. If you have a hard time learning over a screen you don’t really learn much.

An issue with online learning is that children of school age must view computer screens for more than seven hours daily. In an article dated May 2019, the Mayo Clinic’s recommendations for onscreen viewing are as followed:     

No screen time whatsoever for children under 2                                                                                                

One hour a day for children 2 to 12                                                                                                         

Two hours a day for teens and adults”

This is an issue that the school boards will need to address. Students can be exposed to potential problems such as eye strain, blurred vision, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain.

Friends are also nice to see at school. You might have a lot of after school activities, and don’t have much time to see your friends out of school. Maybe they can’t even see them on the weekend either, so school is the only way they can see their friends. Some people might not even exercise at home either, wherein school you have a gym. I think exercise is healthy for you, it’s good to get your body moving every day. 

 During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. This can help you deal with stress and reduce your risk of depression.”-MedlinePlus.

I think we should be in school, five days a week. No matter the cost or the risk we might have to take to make it work, but I think we can do it. We might have to wear masks, but it’s better than sitting at home looking at a computer screen all day long.

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