Virtual School: Pro/Con


Ryder Yarbrough and Stephen Woodward

Pro: Ryder Yarbrough

     The 2020-21 school experience for North Creek High School students has been nothing like years previous. Thrown into a completely new environment, students like myself are still overcoming unexpected challenges.

    Would in-person school be better? Definitely. However, this doesn’t mean that online learning has to be completely terrible.

    With school happening in our homes, our schedules are granted more freedom and flexibility.

    Students now spend less time preparing for school, and classes are shorter. This allows for an easier start to the school day and free time that can be spent on anything they choose. 

    I have discovered that I now have the time and freedom to make myself better meals, wear whatever I want, and finish my work earlier. I can also choose when and where I want to work and plan my day accordingly.

    There are many new benefits in every student’s life that connect to the idea of freedom and flexibility, even if some go unnoticed. However, some may argue that while students have more free time, they also have little motivation to get work done.

    I believe one reason for this is because quarantine is happening at the same time. With the combined negatives of each new environment, life as a whole seems to have gotten harder. At the very least, online learning provides lots of opportunities to change this.

    For instance, most of the students I know are not very good at self-motivation or time management, and these are two of the main skills that online learning forces us to build. Even if we don’t have these skills at the moment, doing school online gives us the opportunity to work on them.

    There are also many other smaller skills that can vary for every individual.

    Personally, I have gotten better at keeping track of my resources, self-discipline, working with technology, learning about topics on my own, and many other unique skills.

    To make online learning more enjoyable, I recommend focusing on the positives. Find some beneficial aspects of this situation that you may have previously overlooked, and remind yourself of the skills you’re developing.

    Overall, online learning has many benefits, both obvious and unexpected, and for a student willing to give it a chance, it can become a more enjoyable experience.

Con: Stephen Woodward

    Online learning started earlier last year with hopes of continuing education in an effective and efficient way, yet it’s become too much. Parents, students, and teachers are fed up with the weight that is being placed on their shoulders. They’ve all been pushed into an uncomfortable and hard way of doing things, and its effects haven’t been small.

    Many students, parents, and teachers are being asked to do much more than before. Teachers are having to squeeze in more and more content in even shorter times. This puts a huge amount of stress on the teachers as they have to figure out new and efficient ways to teach their students.

    Naturally, learning more content in less time is also affecting the students. Students are now asked to pay attention for 80 minute class periods multiple times a day, and while it may seem that is not difficult to do, remember that we can be in extremely distracting environments. 

    Every single student has the power to turn off their camera and play video games or watch TikTok. These students are being forced to put in more effort than ever before, which for many students, isn’t fair to ask of them. 

    We’re in distracting environments, and it’s very easy to not want to pay attention. 

     “I find myself spacing out all the time. I feel like it’s just hard for teachers to keep our attention through a screen, I constantly feel like there is just something else I want to be doing,” said sophomore JJ Rogstad. 

    Not only is online learning hard for students and teachers, it’s very difficult for parents and guardians. These guardians are now being asked to be responsible for making sure that their kids are getting on their computers and getting into their classes. 

    For many parents, this is hard to manage with their schedule. So many parents are working full-time jobs, or even more than one job. It just continues to add more unneeded stress into these parents’ lives. 

    For some, online learning makes them happy and more comfortable being in their own space. For most, it is adding unwanted and unneeded stress to their lives. Parents, teachers, and students alike are all being forced into these tough situations. Although online learning has done what many wanted it to do, it is just becoming too much.