Online Learning: is it working?

Paige Langley

To most students, online learning is much more difficult than in person. Whether it is the lack of self motivation, trouble understanding material, focus, or the inability to ask questions or even know what questions to ask, there is no question that online learning is more difficult.

Between 20% and 30% of adolescents report symptoms for depression. A psychological study that monitored 2,237 individuals found that 6.21% of the participants began showing symptoms of depression and anxiety. With these statistics, there is no wonder many students in the APS district are struggling with a lack of motivation and dropping grades during the 2020-2021 school year.

Not being in the classroom promotes many difficulties. One of these being trouble understanding the material. Unfortunately, schools are forced to pick only one or two online programs, and many students have difficulty using and/or learning from these computerized lessons. Each child has a unique learning style, and unfortunately, computers lack in the flexibility and compassion that teachers carry.

Another difficulty learning from home is the lack of focus. Being in the classroom gives you an opportunity and a setting in which it is simply just easier to stay focused. Being in class is immensely more beneficial than sitting home for anyone, let alone the 9.4% (6.1 MILLION) of children in the US diagnosed with ADHD or any other learning disorder, such as dyslexia (5-15%), dyscalulia (5-6%), and dysgraphia (5-20%). Many children with ADD or ADHD often also carry another learning disorder such as the ones stated above. Staying home makes it much harder for these children to focus, resulting in them learning less material and getting lower grades.

Being able to watch the teacher go over the material and to ask questions when you are not comprehending the material are significant factors necessary in a proper learning environment. Online learning often prohibits this ability or slows it down which is frustrating when you cannot move on until you get an responding email with no way of knowing when the email will come.

These are sadly only a few of the many downfalls when it comes to online learning, and unfortunately, this is the only way students can safely learn during this pandemic. With risks being so high, the only option for schools is to do fully online or hybrid like APS. In order to get help with an assignment, you could try emailing a teacher, scheduling a zoom meeting, or branching out to friends who have the same assignment.