School went from being in a classroom to being on Google Classroom because of the COVID pandemic. Most students are wanting to get back into the classroom as soon as it is safe. (Photo courtesy of Trevor Darnell)
Since March 13 there have been no classes taught inside LRHS. Instead these classes have been taking place through Google Meets and Google Classroom.
Most students prefer in person learning to virtual learning. I conducted on Instagram where 73% of the 59 students that responded to the poll said they preferred in person over virtual learning.
“I prefer in person learning because then we can see our classmates and have a connection with our teachers that we can’t have with virtual [learning],” said Morgan Spragins, a junior at Leesville, in an interview over text.
Students that I’ve talked to agree with Morgan — virtual learning makes it really hard to make or build connections with other students and teachers.
Students also say they prefer virtual learning but it can be difficult to stay motivated and do your work when you don’t actually go to school. “There is no schedule for work. Sure we have classes, but it’s usually instructional. It’s all up to you to decide when to do the work” said Zach Theall, a junior at Leesville, in an interview over text.
There are some benefits to virtual learning too, like the additional amount of free time during the day that students are getting. “Having more free time to do work as well as free time to myself has made virtual learning easier,” said Brendan Shore, a junior at Leesville, in an interview over text. Not all students prefer in person learning though. “I prefer virtual learning because the workload is smaller and assignments are often easier to turn in.”
The change from in-person to virtual learning has affected the teachers more than the students because teachers have had to change what they teach and how they teach it to make sure it works for learning virtually. “[Teachers] have gone to great lengths to cater to us and help us be successful,” said Theall.
Most students said the biggest difference between the two is the reason why they prefer in-person more and that is because it is harder to make connections with people virtually.
“Trying to meet new people and make new friends has been the biggest difference. In 2 of my classes, myself and a few other students are the only ones to have cameras on,” said Amaya Montague, a junior at Leesville, in an interview over text. “I have found in most of my classes students don’t feel the need to turn on cameras or unmute themselves when they want to talk so getting to know other students is very difficult.”
There are benefits and difficulties to both virtual and in person learning right now but the students are ready to get back into the classroom when it is safe to do so.