Virtual learning is not for everyone

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The Screens of Many: Schoology's homepage has become a well-visited spot for students. The platform has been performing well at keeping up with the traffic from kids.

Noah Quillan, Editor-in-chief

Coronavirus changed the everyday lives of everyone in some aspect or another. A pandemic that blew up faster than a wildfire sent the School District of Manatee County into overdrive trying to implement a system that students could finish out the school year with that was completely virtual. Schoology was the answer, though perhaps not the most efficient one. In the SDMC, only about 60% of students logged onto Schoology the day virtual learning launched on March 30.

Some teachers have used the Schoology platform, though some were not enough in this case. Those who are not too tech-savvy struggled to post assignments, hold conferences and communicate well with their students. Understandably, this is a learning process for everyone but it is also a graded learning process for students and that creates frustration. Even though most have used Schoology in some capacity, it was never used like it is now and everyone was thrown into the mess without much cushion.

The set of expectations varies from teacher to teacher, also creating more confusion. For some, assignments are due the day they are posted. For others, they are due Friday or even in some cases, Sunday. It would be ideal to have a schoolwide set of expectations for when assignments are due, that way there is not any confusion from that standpoint.

Motivation is something that a lot of students struggle with. That was clear from the number of people who failed to turn in everyday homework. When one is in a classroom setting, it is easier to get assignments done because there was not much else to do. At home, people are filled with distractions, from phones to the TV, to even just sleeping. Those who were previously working in essential jobs prior to the virus are still going to work as well, stretching out that thin line of motivation even more.

Everybody learns differently. From an everyday classroom setting to working strictly on an electronic device, the change was brutal and for hands-on learners, it pushes the limits of how much they want to try. Seeing a teacher work out a problem or explain something directly works for a lot of people; emailing a question or getting something explained over the phone is simply not the same.

While virtual learning is a struggle for many, some may appreciate not having to wake up before 7:30 every morning and having the luxury of doing assignments at their leisure. For others though, they needed that structure to get things done and therefore are falling behind.

Students, teachers and faculty alike are all stressed and generally speaking, probably wish that things would return to some sort of normalcy. Governor Ron DeSantis announced in a press conference that schools in Florida will remain closed for the remainder of the year. The circumstances are not favorable but they are also not unmanageable. Finish out the 2019-2020 school year strong, the end of it is approaching a lot quicker than many realize.