The idea of virtual learning never occurred to a lot of Mira Loma students until a couple months ago. Now, all learning for Mira Loma right now is distance learning, meaning we connect and learn from a device. Here are the impacts this new type of learning has had on students:
Time management (and even its perception) has nearly disappeared in the last few months. . Since we haven’t been in school for around five – six months now, some students have lost track of time and tend to procrastinate or kick back and relax doing zoom lessons. This is partly due to the fact that we are not in a real classroom setting.
Ms. Alexander, an English teacher, had this to say about distance learning:
“Distance Learning requires students to organize and manage their time on a different level. Since we’ve been working from home, many students are staying up even later, causing them to miss classes. This then means they fall behind on work. They spend less time in classes (20.5 hours distance learning vs. 30 traditional school hours per week) which means there is more time to waste.”
Another negative impact distance learning has had on students and teachers is lack of communication. Having a class just two times of the week isn’t comparable to the normal school schedule. Because of this, we learn less. “The amount of homework and the slow reply on emails when we have questions is usually 1 – 2 hours, sometimes more,” explains 10th grade IS student Kevin Nguyen. If students need help and a teacher isn’t responding to an email, then they can wait for around two days to ask in class which is when the assignment is usually due.
Now, one positive impact that distance learning has seemed to have made is that both teachers and students are making advances with technology in order to have a good experience. A minority of clubs are using discord as a form of communication, while most use Zoom and Google Classroom.
This self-reliance has had positive impacts. “I’ve had to learn how to use certain things on my own so I can pass my classes that have specific requirements, ”9th grade IB student Benjamin Yunque expressed. Distance learning has fueled his interest in getting used to technology throughout all of this.
Technology is expensive to get, and a lot of students don’t have access to a computer or a personal electronic device at home. However, the school district has stepped in and provided all students with a chromebook. The district made a smart move by helping students get the resources they need but can’t afford.
Over the quarantine period, students have developed studying strategies to adapt to the new situation. Some studying strategies are good for only a few students, while other strategies are good advice to be taken into mind. A non Mira Loma student had some sound advice: “Whatever you do, keep organized and take notes. It’s hard to keep track of time, and writing down notes has helped me remember what I need to do and when I need to do it.”