Is online schooling beneficial for children?
3rd Grade student, Kamila Sanchez, participating in her virtual learning.
Photo By: Kharla Sanchez Cuesta
Kharla Sanchez Cuesta
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted everyone in numerous ways. Life in itself is now more virtual than it’s ever been and that includes schooling. To ensure the health and safety of children most school districts have opted to go online.
Virtual learning is not something new; it has been around since the mid-1990s. The only difference is that generally you are given a choice for whether you would like to participate in online schooling, but because of Covid-19 it is more of a necessity.
“I think online schooling for some students is definitely beneficial,” Diana Wallbillich, a current 3rd-grade teacher at Executive Education Academy Charter School, says. “I had a student last year who while we were in school was struggling but as soon as we transitioned to online learning flourished very well. That student of mine was then much more involved and part of it had to do with the fact that being on the computer was something of their liking.”
While for some students online learning might be their ideal format of learning that’s not the case for all students. Many students need to be guided step by step through whatever it is they’re learning and being online does not facilitate that.
“No, I prefer school in person because sometimes the computers don’t work and I cannot hear my teacher well,” Kamila Sanchez, current 3rd grader with online schooling, says. “I also miss my friends and playing outside.”
This is the response an 8-year old gave when asked whether or not she liked online learning and why. The student also complained about the fact that more often than not there is a bit of confusion with the material that is being taught.
Virtual learning has brought a set of many different challenges to both students and teachers. For Wallbillich one of the toughest things has been to keep all 20 students focused and on task.
“Some of the toughest things are really keeping the kids focused, keeping the kids engaged and on task,” Wallbillich says. “Making sure that all of my students are doing what they are supposed to and not distracted. In person I have much more control of what goes on in the classroom compared to online all I can do is let them know that I need them to pay attention.”
Online schooling has become a necessity and is the safest way for children to continue their learning while staying home. This means that even though online learning isn’t for everyone, it is what we have to adapt to in the meantime.