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  • Salsabila Attaria, reporter

Aces Overcoming Obstacles of Online Learning

As East High School works through its second month of online learning, students are finding their footing and forming opinions on this method of education. Aspects such as navigating Microsoft Teams, staying motivated, and keeping in touch with classmates have presented challenges students continue to overcome.

“So far, online school has gone better than I expected,” Brittney Nguyen, fr., said. "At first I was not very fond of learning online, but as the weeks went by, I warmed up to it. During my experience of remote learning, I've enjoyed the convenience and comfort of staying at home.”

While the ease of being home has been a blessing to students like Nguyen, others have found that staying home all day comes with its own set of problems.

“I’d say that online school is going pretty well for me grade-wise, but I think emotionally and personally, it’s so draining,” Topher Cundith, soph., said. “I feel like sitting there, staring at a screen really hasn’t helped me learn. I’m just mindlessly writing.”

Both in person and online learning come with pros and cons in such an unprecedented time. Now that the school year is in full swing and there is less room for excuses, Aces have learned the benefits and drawbacks.

“It’s really great not having to drive to school or worry about what outfit I’m going to wear, which really adds to the ease of class work,” Will Bann, sr., said. “And on the flipside it’s really easy to get up late and fall asleep or goof off with the camera off.”

Technology has given students and staff a way to communicate faster than ever as messages and e-mails are sent back and forth within seconds.

“I do enjoy how it's easy to reach out to teachers at any given time instead of just during school,” Mae said.

An online platform means learning a new way to communicate, adding a layer of awkwardness and uncertainty.

“We haven't had the chance to meet new people yet, so speaking up in class can be uncomfortable,” Nguyen said.

It can be a challenge to speak in a virtual class with obstacles such as slow internet, malfunctioning devices, and other people around you at home.

“The whole process of mustering up the courage to unmute my mic and even just typing in the chat can be pretty worrisome,” Bann said. “It’s like the fear of raising your hand in class multiplied because people either can’t see you at all or they can only see your face so it’s easy to be less comfortable than one would be in-person.”

Clubs, sports, and other extracurriculars have been impacted greatly by the transition to remote learning. Organizations have adapted accordingly, but what it means to be involved has changed for many.

“I don’t really enjoy my extracurriculars as much anymore,” Cundith said. “They are better in person so doing them online takes the fun away.”

Club organizers have had to work twice as hard to keep members engaged and participating.

“I am an officer for a club that has been made completely remote and although the meetings can still be fairly interactive it still feels very limited, which might not lead a lot of people to want to join,” Mae said.

During trying times, the best place to look for advice is each other. These four students have shared their most helpful tips for making the most out of online school.

“First of all, I would say it’s really important to have a morning process before school starts,” Bann said. “Take breaks when you need to. Do whatever you can to make learning chill!”

Aces have learned that your surroundings make a huge difference when it comes to learning at home.

Although it can be hard to maintain friendships and hang out during a pandemic, keeping contact with friends and classmates is crucial in a time of such widespread isolation.

“The only thing that's really helped me is just staying in touch and trying to have a quiet environment,” Mae said.

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