A View from Home: Fully Virtual Learners

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Micheal Hisler, Staff Writer

COVID remains looming over students as they get settled into the new school year and becomes more of a problem for those who stay at home full time. Looking at it from the surface, it may seem that these students at home have a disadvantage over those who participate in the hybrid model, but it becomes more clear as we take a look beneath the surface that both the fully-remote and hybrid models have their advantages and disadvantages.

With this format of learning being brand new, I decided to take the initiative to interview these students on how they’re feeling at home full-time. Two fully-remote sophomore students, Lucia Saavedra and Jordan Werner, said that online classes are not easy for them, but, at the same time, it would not be easy for them to be in school during the pandemic. They find themselves being mostly excluded from the conversations occurring in class. With only a few people remaining at home full-time, most of the class’ attention is focused on the students who are in-person. 

Luckily for them, it has become easier to understand material over zoom, compared to when COVID first struck. The faculty is now better prepared for teaching in a more suitable manner over zoom. Lucia and Jordan feel that they are understanding the material better than they were before. With a better prepared and more organized school year, Lucia finds herself “…meeting more regularly with teachers than what I would be on campus.” Which shows that school is heading in the right direction in terms of serving student needs, especially in such an uncertain time. Although this is an adjustment, they’re better prepared this time around. 

Wrapping my interview up, I asked them one final probing question, “Do you want to return to in-person learning?”. Surprisingly, they both had conflicting answers. Lucia wanted to return, but Jordan wanted to stay at home (at least for now). While they both agreed that it is much easier for them to learn in person than over zoom, they still are hesitant to return to the classroom. 

Insight on this sort of topic can help us gauge what our school year will look like, allowing us to have some sort of knowledge on questions like, “What happens if we go back to fully remote?”. As COVID lingers throughout our daily lives, we can only take initiative to make the best of what we have, and that means doing what we can to keep ourselves, friends and loved-ones safe to progress back towards a more normal lifestyle.