Why digital learning is the worst


Kirsten Vanden Bos

Students working in the classroom.

This year, kids have gone back to school in hopes of seeing a somewhat normal school year. Last year, a lot of students were online learners for a variety of reasons: some students decided to stay at home because they didn’t want to catch the coronavirus, some stayed at home to avoid having to sit out of sports, etc. Now that we can look back, I decided to dig deeper into the pros and cons of digital school vs. in-person school. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that online learning is much harder than being in a classroom with a teacher and your peers. Learning material over Zoom or through a screen is much more difficult than it seems.
Personally, I have never really struggled with school, but this past year, when I was digital for some parts, it was very hard for me to stay motivated to do my work. It was also a lot harder to understand the concepts when being taught over Zoom. It just was not the same as having a teacher in front of you explaining the material. There is more hands-on learning when in the classroom. This hands-on learning is very beneficial for a lot of people, but those people that stayed at home to learn could not experience it. In classes such as chemistry, it was almost impossible for the digital students to participate in any of the labs that they did, so they had to be given an alternate assignment. I also know that the biggest issue for a lot of people that were online was the lack of social interaction. It’s hard learning all by yourself and not having any social interaction with anyone. While other students were sitting in their class having conversations with their friends about their work, online students were sitting at home trying to figure it out all on their own. And while in-person students were eating lunch and socializing with their friends, at home students were eating alone and missing out on the social aspect of things.
I interviewed Madison Platt, who was in person last year, and she said that while in-person learning was still hard, she felt that students that were digital were not able to get the same help from teachers as students in the classroom could. She also said that last year was a weird year because a lot of the people she had been going to school with for a long time were now digital students, and she did not get to see them.
I also interviewed Cigi Stroud, who switched between both in-person and digital schooling last year. She says, “I think it depends on the person. For me, I liked digital learning because I could take control of my own work, but I lacked motivation to do my work at home. Therefore, I feel like in-person learning is more beneficial.”
Overall, I don’t think a lot of people realized how hard learning at home would be until we had to go through this.