Flaws emerge in distance learning

Quarantine learning plan ineffective


Elena Ortiz-Fishman

The amount of COVID-19 scares have been skyrocketing. Because of this, students are urged to stay at home until they can procure a negative test result. This ensures that the school is staying safe and not taking any unnecessary risks. 

Students who are unable to come to class for whatever reason are then pointed to Schoology as a means to stay updated on any classwork or lessons they are missing. According to administration, teachers are told to post everything on Schoology to support students in quarantine. 

Though in theory this sounds like a good plan, the execution has fallen flat. Staying on track with school work from home while quarantined is easier said than done, as after several days of missing school due to being sick, I was already struggling and falling behind. I found that several of my assignments were not posted online, or instructions for them were simply unclear without classroom direction. Already being faced with issues surrounding internet access, it was even more difficult to contact teachers. 

However, the biggest issue for me was simply missing classroom lectures. Distance learning was arduous last year, but facilities like Zoom made the transition to distance learning easier. That’s why this year, without the option to log onto an online meeting, so much was missed. Simply doing assignments from home and filling out worksheets didn’t benefit my learning at all. Surprisingly, it was the lectures that I missed most. 

Luckily for me, I could return to school after a couple days — but, I worry about how this problem will manifest in the future. With the increase of COVID-19 cases, and scares that come with the flu season, more students will be isolated at home for longer periods of time. For them, learning over Schoology won’t cut it and I foresee that this problem will be turning into a larger obstacle this year. 

Yet, I don’t think this problem falls solely on the teachers — instead, it seems to be part of a larger flaw. Most of my teachers were doing all that they could with the resources they had. I understand that having to meticulously post every assignment that they allot is time consuming, as many teachers are overextended as is. Also, those who are sick may not even have time to go online. 

Overall, the root of the problem is merely the inaccessibility of online learning. It was very surprising how unprepared we are, considering the events of last year. Using Schoology seems to be the go-to solution for those stuck at home, but I don’t think this will be enough for the months to come.