Experiences with online learning

Tommy Khou, Hi-Gusher

The 2020 school year has been stressful, to say the least.  Since the introduction of online school, its been hard for me to feel anything but stress.  After talking to many friends and classmates I’ve come to realize I wasn’t the only one feeling it. The Wildcat Online Academy program is a great option for many students in situations that make it dangerous or difficult to go to school during COVID-19. If I were to go to on-campus school, I would not only be putting my health at risk but my grandparents and elderly who live with me, so I decided to learn virtually.

This is the case for most Wildcat Online Academy students.  This was the right choice for me, of course, because I would put my family’s safety above everything else when it comes down to it.  But doubt still does linger in my mind.  I know that I would learn easier at school, a place where there are fewer distractions.  For instance, it took me a whole week to write this opinion piece, and 6 days of that week were spent telling myself ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’.  It’s hard to pay attention in class sometimes, especially when some teachers still haven’t really adapted their teaching style to accommodate my own teacher.  

I understand that some teachers can’t get back to you through email immediately and that there is so much going on in class, that they don’t have time for those at home students at home.  Out of all the 7 classes I am taking, in 4 of them, I feel like, but it still irritates me that I have to go to khan academy and youtube to learn something that I would be able to understand if I were in class.  I feel like I’m falling behind all the time, and I spend nights going over all the work in my classrooms and making sure that there aren’t any secret assignments or anything that I may be missing.  

In general, I feel like the whole Wildcat Online Academy program is a bit of a mess.  Although, it could just be me, as I am taking 5 AP classes.  I find it hard to teach myself a subject I’ve never learned before, but I have hope that teachers will get better at helping online Students as the year goes on.  

I asked Henley McAdams, a junior, who goes on-campus about their experience so far with the new regulations and such and she said, “The learning we’re doing now feels like we have to teach ourselves the subject instead of it being taught to us. It has made it more difficult because it’s hard for me to make myself pay attention and focus on videos and online material.” So having a hard time learning doesn’t only affect the Online students but on-campus students too, having to transition from everything in class, like homework, and activities, being a paper copy or physical, now being all online and google classroom.

I then asked if she regretted not enrolling online and why, she stated, “Yes. I could’ve been struggling at home instead of on campus.”  The restrictions in the school and the new ways of teaching, the students are not fully used to it yet.  It has impacted my classmates and how they feel about school.  But there is no doubt that this school year has been quite an interesting one, to say the least.

Then I asked Nik Perry a junior, who is also enrolled in online classes about their experience, they stated, “Well, online school for me is actually really nice, I have a schedule that I stick to the same as IRL school does, but it’s a bit more relaxed, and being a person with social anxiety it’s beneficial to not have to deal with people all day.” and if they regretted anything, to which they responded, “I don’t regret taking online classes, it’s more “I wish COVID wasn’t a thing so I could see my friends” ideal, but online school is wonderful to me.” 

There are many things to consider when it comes to this school year, how some people taking online find it more stressful than being at on-campus school, and how some find it relaxing because they can go at their own pace.  And students taking onsite school find it so much more stressful than preceding years due to regulations and new styles of teaching in the classroom.  Nonetheless, this school year is one that will bring many new experiences to students, positive or negative.