By Mirolla Mekaiel
Due to a shortage of staff and rising COVID cases, New Hyde Park Memorial went remote for the first week back after winter break. For many students and teachers, the familiar setting brought a sense of deja vu, sitting for seven hours straight in front of a computer. This situation brought about a mix of opinions. For those having to quarantine, this provided them with a chance to keep up with school work. Those who were afraid of the overwhelming COVID cases were safe in the comfort of their homes. Those who were not ready to go back to school after break had a week to get back into their school routines. But to some others, remote learning altered their schedule and encouraged laziness, something counterproductive during the new year.
Source by Kristen Schneider
Students log onto their Google Meets to begin their class during remote learning.
“It’s not the best situation, but in a bad situation, it is the best option right now,” math teacher Mr. Sime said.
The initial push for remote learning was because of the pandemic. Despite the immense frustration and disconnect between students and teachers, remote learning encourages more self studying and using the resources that are available. In addition, students and teachers have become more tech savvy and now technology is not a problem that they struggle with. Most schools have already switched to online platforms like Google Classroom and Zoom, so transitioning into remote learning when necessary is not as difficult as it previously was.
“Just the slightest human interaction whether it is talking to someone in the hallway, going from class to class, having those interactions with people is a very valuable thing...”
This time around, going remote was not out of the ordinary; it was a familiar experience. Teachers did not need to alter their plans, and their main challenge was being able to teach the full lesson in the same amount of time it would have taken them to do it in person. Setting up the screen, Wi-Fi issues and making sure that students are paying attention and collaborating are all obstacles that take up time that would have gone into the lesson. In addition, despite previous experiences, teachers were still having difficulties interacting with their students.
“A huge disadvantage of remote learning is that students do not have face to face interactions, and they can’t do the same group work they are able to do in classrooms and with difficult subjects, students need to be able to connect with the information they are being taught and remote learning provides an extra challenge to that,” science teacher Ms. Bansal said.
Teachers cannot force students to pay attention; that needs to come from students themselves. However, with more distractions and less motivation to pay attention while not being fully monitored, students experience more challenges while being online.
Even with the many advantages remote instruction entails, in-person learning holds benefits that online cannot offer. Students are able to interact with their peers and teachers. Not only do these interactions help students understand their current subjects but it also helps them develop fundamental life skills. Students may have trouble paying attention during remote learning, and they can shy away from asking questions. According to many students, in-person learning builds more motivation and makes the learning experience more engaging and interactive.
“Just the slightest human interaction whether it is talking to someone in the hallway, going from class to class, having those interactions with people is a very valuable thing and being at home takes that away from you,” junior Luke Jacob said.