E-learning becomes the new normal

Vedder Brown , Staff Reporter

During the height of the pandemic, schools across the country were forced to shut down, including our own, to protect our students, teachers, and community from the virus. For what many of us may know as an “extended spring break”, many others see it as a time of great struggle, stress, and anxiety. The most effective and safe way to get students back into learning and teachers back into teaching, was to become fully remote. Students and teachers faced many challenges along the way, the main difference between in-person and remote learning was the social aspect. Senior Milan Patel elaborated on the topic, “I think the main difference between in person and e-learning is just the social aspect around things”. Not only was the social aspect the big difference, but the change in workload also was a hot topic. “I think there’s a lot more notes to be done in person,” Patel explains. As for the teachers, Government and Civics teacher Glen Roeck elaborated on the challenges he had faced while attempting to adapt to the e-learning environment, ““It was very challenging for [Roeck], and I know for most teachers because we were taught to teach students in person. The school and the coaches did a great job giving us some tips and things but it was still challenging.” Although adapting to the new normal was a challenge in its own, getting students to participate in class and interact became a whole new challenge. “[Roeck] saw a big drop in student engagement and it was very hard for many students to be isolated like that, and I just see so many advantages to in person learning.” In April 2021, students and teachers were finally given the opportunity to return to in-person learning via an email survey sent out by administration. After the 2020-21 school year came to a close, the world saw a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. With this in mind, school administrators expanded upon safety measures and protocols to ensure the safety of the students and staff. However, with the recent surge in COVID-19 numbers and the new variants, schools have strongly considered returning to full remote learning until the safety of the community would be ensured. When asked about the closure of schools once again, Milan Patel emphasized on his earlier points about the social aspect of in-person. “It’s going to be the same as usual. You’re still going to go to your classes, you’re still going to talk to your teachers, you just won’t have as much contact as you would with your friends.” Amid all of the challenges and obstacles COVID-19 is throwing our way, our school and community is committed to keeping students and teachers safe, by following COVID’s health and safety protocols to remain in in-person learning