By Max Aurilio
As of April 6th 2020, MTSD has transitioned to online learning through the use of platforms like Schoology and Zoom. While teachers can still interact with students using online platforms, a large part of the high school experience has been lost. Online school, now mandated for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year, has canceled or postponed many enjoyable student events, such as spring sports and prom.
Junior Nicholai Vuong enjoys this new change to online school. “You get to work at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. The work is split up fairly so it’s not 7 hours of online classes,” he said. Other students agree that working from home can be less stressful than waking up early to be stuck in a classroom for hours. They enjoy having the extra free time and being able to choose their schedule.
On the other hand, some students are having trouble getting their questions answered, as emailing a teacher and waiting for a response can take much longer than just walking to their desk in person. In addition to that concern, some think managing Schoology assignments for all of their classes can become overwhelming. These problems can be partially solved by class Zoom meetings, so this system works well overall.
However, student opinions regarding the social aspect of online school tell a different story. “It’s not the same though, I really miss seeing my friends in the hallway and having fun in class. It’s hard not being able to directly ask your teachers questions either,” said Junior Macy Mosner, highlighting some of the drawbacks of online school. Many students want to see their friends every day again, and many students also miss their favorite teachers. Apart from emails and the occasional Zoom call, there is little personal communication between students and teachers. According to the American Psychological Association at www.apa.org, loneliness is damaging to physical and mental health, and isolation can have many negative side effects. So although online learning looks fine on paper as students continue submitting work, prolonged social distancing could be very bad for students.
Hopefully, online learning will only be necessary for the remainder of this school year so that the 2020-2021 school year can occur without these issues. The Manheim Township School District web page www.mtwp.com has new links and updated information about the district’s plan for the future.