Misconceptions of Online Learning

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Photo by Amaya Taylor

By Amaya Taylor, Reporter

Let’s be honest, high schoolers use technology a lot, sometimes even obsessively. Everything from social media, to video games, to text messaging and even shopping. Perhaps you can be consumed with these things from time to time.

However, it’s safe to say that none of us thought that hours on our computers and phones this year would be spent doing homework. Maybe you love it, or maybe you don’t; either way, every PRHS student knows that little red Canvas icon all too well.

It may seem as though transitioning from in-person to online learning is a very hard thing to do. From online modules to essays, it can be hard to track down every single assignment. However, Sadie Ernst (11), a devout upperclassman, has a different story.

“At the beginning of the year, it was a bit of an adjustment compared to years past. But now that I’ve got the hang of it, I really enjoy how much flexibility it allows in my schedule,” she said.

Another misconception that is commonly assumed is the abundance of video lessons or Zoom meetings. It would seem as though teachers would bombard us with online lectures or daily Zoom meetings to keep up with the curriculum, but that has not happened for most students. In response to this, Olivia Chandler (10), an online school student, denies this stereotype…

“I thought there would be a lot of Zooms, but I had only two classes that did calls. The calls were on google meets, and they were mostly just to film the class…” she said. Chandler really enjoyed the school environment filled with clubs and friends from the past year, but she is glad that the school is taking precautions for our safety.

“It got very stressful, but I’m glad I have teachers who were patient with us as we were with them.”

– Olivia Chandler

Another illusion that a new year of online learning was that incoming freshmen would have a hard time coping. The transition from middle school to high school is not an easy feat, but throwing a whole new learning style in the mix seems tough. Maili Foreman (9) comments on this by disproving this judgment:

“[My online experience] been pretty good! A little bit stressful, but alright overall,” she said. However, there is a bit of truth to this assumption when it comes to friends and social life.

“I have some friends…[that] I definitely miss a lot, but it’s not too hard,” she said. Foreman expressed some of her struggles this year, including missing her friends. Regardless, she is still having a great start to her freshman year here at PR.

With the introduction of online learning this year, it is natural that some misconceptions circulated due to unfamiliarity with it. However, it seems like even more confusing and speculating judgments are being made about school policy regarding COVID-19. Gwen Engberg (10) gives her interpretation of the school’s guidelines this year.

“I know that if [you] have a set type of symptoms then you should stay home. I also know that we should stay six feet apart without masks on.” Engberg is absolutely correct about this. School policy states that any student displaying symptoms of a fever, persistent cough, sore throat, nausea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and more, must be kept at home, contact the school immediately, and test for COVID-19.

Now, these symptoms might sound like everyday side effects of fever or cold that you can’t seem to shake off. But the reality is, even if you do experience seasonal sickness due to allergies, etc., it is likely that you’ll have to stay home. In fact, Lawson McVay (10) has gone through just this and had to stay home for two weeks because of it.

“I was sick but it wasn’t COVID. It [staying at home] was miserable. Trying to catch up on two weeks of tests, quizzes, and in-person work took forever… My grades dropped too and I was sad because I couldn’t see my friends or anything.” he said.

Although it wasn’t a great experience for McVay, he was able to stay safe at home. It is common that we brush off a scratchy throat or headache as dehydration or a bad night’s sleep. And while these things might be true, it is important to note that any ignorance of our own health would be detrimental to others’.

Try to look past the speculations and misconceptions, because you might find something new and even better that works for you. If not, you can at least keep yourself, and others, safe.