Learning through a screen: not as bad as it seems


Photo courtesy Luke Jordan

Junior Luke Jordan gets work done on virtual check-in day.

With school having been online for over a year now, it might seem tempting to go back. Cabin fever might be getting the better of us, and an escape from it all sounds nice. However, school is far from how it used to be, and it won’t take long to realize that online school is significantly better than this in-person “solution.”

It might seem strange that teachers are communicating through a screen rather than face-to-face like they would in a normal classroom setting. Going in-person won’t be any different. Sure, the teacher will be there with you, but their attention will not be on you. Teachers will still need to teach to their computers, so not much will change in that regard.

One main difference between looking at a screen at home versus in the classroom is comfort. The desks at school are wildly uncomfortable, meanwhile a perfectly nice chair, mattress or other sitting contraption awaits you at your very own home. Why make the switch for the more or less same experience without the perks? No chiropractor necessary.

Sleep is something that teenagers have always struggled with. According to the CDC, teenagers should get anywhere from eight to 10 hours of sleep a night. This is unreasonable considering the busy life of an average teenager. Online school cuts down on the need to travel and look presentable, leaving students more time to get some shut-eye.

When it comes to lunch in a normal school year, you can either bring food from home or buy food from the cafeteria. After a while, the process becomes repetitive, and there’s only so much food with portability. At home, however, a whole new world of culinary possibilities opens up. Fresh ingredients and a wide array of appliances satisfies the taste buds in a way a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich could not.

Friends are another issue. Social distancing will make it difficult to have regular conversations with friend groups in the hallways, that is if your friends have also opted to return and you fall in the same half of the alphabet. Both methods don’t have great alternatives for direct communication, but at least you can text your friends online.

There’s only so much school left before we’re out for the summer. Taking everything about this “solution” into account – the limited change, the need for preparation, the limited social interaction – the best thing to do would be to ride the year out. By September, school should hopefully be partially or fully back to the way it was. But for now, all the advice I can give would be this: stay home.