Enduring Online Education

A screenshot from virtual AP Calc. tutoring.

Life during coronavirus is filled with unknowns. People’s entire lives were turned upside down in seconds and with so many things about the future that are uncertain, our way of lives had to adapt to be able to continue during a seemingly never ending quarantine. To try and adapt to this new way of living and establish a sense of familiarity, schools across the country resorted to an online schooling system to continue the education of millions of kids. 

This new method of teaching and learning makes use of online platforms such as google classroom to post assignments and google meet or zoom to have face-to-face interactions with teachers and fellow classmates. This solution to allowing kids to continue their education and finish off the school year is the best option for school districts to follow, but the students involved in this system have their own personal feelings on virtual schooling.

Maya Acampora, a senior dance major at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), shared her concerns for students who are in Advanced Placement (AP) classes. “I am in two AP classes this year and having our usual lessons cut a month before the AP test is really stressful,” she said. “I think that it is very obvious all of our teachers are trying their best and luckily we finished most of the curriculum before schools closed, but now trying to review on your own is extremely difficult.”

The stress of AP tests is hard for anyone to deal with, but adding the fact that in person material and reviews can’t happen adds another stress factor that makes these classes that much more difficult.

While all teachers try their best to provide online resources for their students, sometimes the material is too much to handle.

Victoria Boyd, a senior dance major at FSSA, expressed her problems with online school. “I get that doing work online is the only solution to having students still learn, but it is really hard to stay focused and on top of yourself,” she exclaimed. “Waking up to millions of emails and notifications from google classroom gets too overwhelming and it’s so hard to stay motivated with nothing to look forward to. Prom and graduation are most likely cancelled, so finding a reason to finish my school work with no end goal is really hard,” she added.

The lack of motivation is seen throughout many graduating seniors in the class of 2020. Having traditional celebrations cancelled is hard to cope with and adding loads of work on top of their disappointment makes this unmotivated characteristic even more justified.

Despite all the downfalls online schooling brings, the system is still doing its job in educating students from all grade levels.

Christina Tsamutalis, a sophomore dance major at FSSA, has had a positive result with online school. “I think the transition from regular school to online was as smooth as it can be. Teachers understood the stress of the situation and have given small work loads and post assignments a few days early so we can get ahead of ourselves, which I greatly appreciate,” she said.

While motivation is hard to find during this time, it is possible to set up a productive schedule. “I keep myself motivated to complete all my work by waking up around  9am and finishing all my assignments as fast as possible so I’m done early and have the rest of the day to myself and do things like play Just Dance,” Christina added.

Life during this time is difficult for everyone. Teachers have the added stress of providing the best education they can even if it is through a screen and students have to have the integrity to use these resources in an intelligent and efficient manner. Despite the hardships felt by all parties involved, online education is the best solution to allowing students to continue their education and helps give everyone a sense of familiarity during such a scary time.

– by Matthew Weinberger ’20