Diving Into Virtual Learning
Updated: Oct 5
On September 8, 2020, Fairfax County Public Schools, along with the majority of schools nationwide, officially entered school virtually. Instead of seeing classmates and teachers face to face and exploring hallways filled with peers, students are now forced to adjust to the new norm of communicating to peers through a computer screen in your own home and navigating classes through a click of a link. This unforeseen change in the schooling system brought on by the pandemic has profoundly impacted all students academically and socially. Students across the county hold various opinions on the new learning experience.
Virtual synchronous learning has brought both positive and negative aspects to light. Multiple students have claimed the inefficiencies of staring at a screen for hours at a time during the day due to its limitations of performing hands-on activities, strained eyes, and inability to focus. Drawbacks also include experiencing technical difficulties, lack of routine, unpleasant breakout rooms, lack of motivation, and an overall absence of human connection. Due to the downsides, the majority of the students yearn to re-experience the reunion with classmates and teachers and jump back into the routine of the previous “norms”.
However, students are also beginning to acknowledge the silver linings of the new education system. Students are taking in all the positive opportunities online learning has offered, such as greater flexibility and free time, getting to eat during class, more time in between classes, and most of all, being able to wear pajamas to school! Lydia Falardeau, a Light the Night team captain and senior at Woodson High School has added to the continuous list of advantages by claiming the various “opportunities students could experience online than students would in school” and “a greater chance to meet classmates through breakout rooms”.
By adding constructive criticism, such as advocating for turned-on cameras to increase motivation and creating a more organized Google Classroom, students are hopeful that the rest of their time in school will only improve. Through this experience, students were also able to gain a newfound sense of appreciation of in-person learning as well as their teachers’ efforts in creating the best environment possible within these tough circumstances. Despite the current situation the world is facing, students are encouraged to keep their heads up and remain hopeful, for in-person learning and a sense of normalcy will return in the near future.