When the COVID-19 pandemic forced students into virtual learning, many students came to prefer the digital experience. This new advancement in learning has shown many changes in the learning tendencies of students.
While many students prefer learning on campus, they do find it easier to complete assignments online. Google Classroom was rarely used before the pandemic, and now teachers and students rely on it more than pen and paper assignments. Homework, class work, and even tests and quizzes have been completed on a screen rather than on a sheet of paper. This can be both beneficial and negative for a student’s learning.
Completing assignments on a Chromebook has been shown to be better for students, but it does not come without risks. Using laptops can also make it easier for students to cheat, which is why some teachers find it necessary to use certain lockdown features when assigning tests and quizzes.
Still, many students find it more convenient to learn online. Speaking of completing assignments through Google Classroom, Olympic Heights sophomore Ana Mendez says, “It was actually more convenient because of the dates and the way you could see the assignment posted.”
Turning in assignments has been easier for students such as Mendez, who can now see due dates on Google Classroom instead of having to remember them or write them down. This makes it easier for students to turn in assignments on time.
While students see a positive change in the new way to learn, some administrators are skeptical about virtual learning. While going digital may be easier, last year’s virtual learning had many students struggling.
Just last year, students were struggling to keep up with school work. “Over time, I witnessed my own daughters, who are good academic students, struggle with distance learning and focusing on lessons,” says Eric Stern, Wellington Community High School assistant principal.
Stern also explains how it took time for students to reconnect with in-person learning after spending a year learning from home. “These students really missed out on all of the social interactions that a high school campus offers,” Stern says.
While campuses are at full capacity now, it will still take time for students to adjust to a physical and digital learning environment. The year is still young, and the school year has many challenges ahead.
Prior to last year, some teachers were already using Google Classroom, putting their students ahead of the curve. It was a struggle for many, but knowing how the applications operate helped many students adjust quickly to virtual learning and eventually in person learning with Chromebooks.
Even though some students are ahead, others are still struggling. Students who may have been learning virtually all last year are still getting used to the Olympic Heights campus. Many of the current sophomores are just as new as the incoming freshman due to only learning behind a screen the entirety of last year.
Many students have experienced the first grading period of this school year differently. Everyone, students and administrators alike, hope to find the normality of the new school year soon in order to have a smooth 2021-2022 school year.