May 5, 2020
The 2019 school year ushered in a new digital format for learning, no one could’ve guessed that it would become our only source of education for the rest of the school year. There are many cons of distance learning versus being at school and learning from a teacher.
At home life, missed attendance forms, poor internet, and lack of physical communication with teachers are all cons to online learning.
New Ulm high school teacher Kayla Ruch said, “With all students being forced to stay home because of COVID-19, some students are going to be forced to take care of younger siblings because of parents that still have to work during the day.” Some parents have been using the school as “daycare”, and with all the students being at home, the burden of taking care of younger siblings normally falls upon the oldest child. With other distractions like pets and parents that might be working from home, and with spring in the air, it can very difficult to focus on school at home.
Students that have never had unexcused absences are now getting them for the first time. With two unexcused absences meaning a letter grade drop, it can cause lots of unneeded stress on students. One major issue with attendance is that it can vary from day to day, and from class to class. For example, some classes may take attendance from a Zoom meeting; whereas other classes may take attendance from an attendance form sent out on google classroom. The issue with this is that students do not know what to expect every day coming into class, with a chance that attendance is different and possibly overlooked, or yesterday’s form being filled out instead of today’s.
With the Stay at Home order in place in Minnesota, internet usage has increased significantly in the past few weeks. This already makes the internet slow and can cause problems with the websites New Ulm High School teachers and students use every day. Aside from that, the lack of service providers in the area can cause lots of service interruptions and delays. Bad internet can specifically affect websites like Zoom and Edpuzzle. Teachers have been forgiving, knowing that these issues exist but it still can cause unneeded stress on students, and is still a con to distance learning.