Teachers, students adapt to virtual learning

Freedom students tackle online school


Illustration by Megan Evans

Google Meet is the primary mode of virtual instruction at the high school, and both teachers and students approach the new learning environment in many different ways.

On Aug. 27, Freedom students had their first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year, but this year was different. Instead of hopping on a bus, getting in their car or walking to school that day, students simply clicked on a link for their first Google Meet class. Depending on students’ classes, preferences when learning and home environments online school could be completely different for everyone. Posts on social media and interviews by different students contradict each other. This reflects how every student at Freedom has their own opinions and feelings about virtual learning. 

Because opinions differ, two petitions have been made on Change.org. One petition asks students who want to go back to school to sign, while the other is made for students who would like to stay online. Both petitions were created by students who work better in different environments. Even after asking students if they have been more or less stressed this school year online compared to years prior, there were many different responses. 

“More stressed. I have no motivation sitting in my house, there’s too many distractions,” senior Jessica Scheel said. 

“I have felt less stressed this school year, because I feel that a lot of pressure has been taken off ever since virtual school has started,” sophomore Sophia Stone said.

But no matter how students feel about online school, they could all agree that this year is better than online school at the end of last year. 

“The organization and Google Meets. Teachers being there to explain things to me is a way I learn better and I think my classmates learn better,” sophomore Troy Pawlowski said.

“It is more structured,” Scheel said. 

Students have had to adapt in order to make virtual learning a better experience.

“You will want to set up a dedicated learning environment to partake in your online course and study,” Illinois Online stated. 

This means students should find a quiet, separate space in order to increase their chance of being successful with online learning. 

“I gave myself a workspace. You know, a desk and a chair. Not in my bedroom,” Pawlowski said. 

Finding a good place to work is not the only thing students have done to adapt to learning from home. Learning to use organization methods can help students keep track of work and not miss deadlines.

“I write the assignment that is due in my notes and look there to keep track,” junior Norina Baker said. 

Although joining a Google Meet each morning makes school more difficult for some and less difficult for others, students are safer from the coronavirus while staying home. As teachers and students acquire new online skills, they can make virtual schooling a more positive and educational experience.