Students adjust to online learning

COVID-19 forces students to learn from home


Jared Todd

Zach Voi, senior, studies using a practice test in preparation for a test.

Kaitlyn Jones

   With the sudden impact of COVID-19 spreading throughout the states, Missouri has ordered all schools to teach online for the rest of the year. This has caused a shift in teaching methods and how students are to receive and complete assignments. 

   “My transition to online learning was super impromptu,” junior Liam Perkins said. “The reason I use that word is that I had no clue what I was doing for the first couple of days.”

   Government teacher Clinton Longwell agrees that the transition to online learning caused some strain and recognizes that he could’ve had a more difficult time.

   “I’ve been able to transition probably easier than others since I do not have the added weight of having to make sure my own kids, since I don’t have any, are actively engaged in their studies,” said Longwell. 

   Besides the already difficult transition, there are other struggles that students are facing.

   “You can very easily forget when assignments are due if you don’t use a planner,” junior Stephanie Richie said. “It’s like if you miss one day of not checking your email, suddenly when you get back there are 60 new assignments and 10 of them are probably due that day.”

   Perkins said it is stressful getting confused on a subject, as there are no ways to get the in-person help one might need from a teacher. It’s also hard to gather the motivation to get up and complete assignments.  

   Although there seem to be quite a few negative impacts of online schooling, there are some benefits. 

   “You’re not constantly pressured to finish things during class, instead you have your own time that you can manage which is great,” Richie said. 

   Longwell agrees. Students now have a chance to create their own schedule.

   “I would say students have the opportunity to develop different time management skills,” said Longwell. “ We all have massive amounts of time on our hands and have had to reorganize the way we do things.”

   Length of assignments have also seemed to be impacted by this new transition. While AP and Dual Credit classes have kept a steady pace of workload, other classes seem to have cut back on the work assigned.

   “I take AP classes and they give loads of work in school, and they are keeping up somewhat during online school too,” Perkins said. “On the other hand, however, there are some classes that I still have that don’t give me too hard of work and it’ll take me from 30 to 45 minutes to complete the assignment.”

   As for regulating new schedules, both students and teachers seem to have created their own.

   “I have slept in a little bit, but I find myself more active and efficient in the mornings,” Longwell said.

   Perkins also has adjusted to a schedule that best fits him.

   “There are days where I work ahead and some days have no work that I can do and I will be done by 10 am.” Perkins said. “So it’s really waking up and seeing my workload each different day and tackling it bit by bit.”

   Richie has also managed to make a schedule that helps her to the fullest. She starts with the assignments that will take the longest, rather than doing each subject at a time. 

   Richie said centering all work around Canvas as a way to assign projects and worksheets. 

   “I feel very disorganized right now because some teachers barely use Canvas, while others rely on it a lot, and then there’s others who use Google Classroom,” Richie said.

   The sense of community has been diluted during virtual learning.

   “If I had any recommendations, it would be sending some videos of inspiration, or possibly some sort of video that just brings us students up and makes us more determined to work hard from home,” Perkins said. “It’s a lot easier than ever to slack off now than before because we aren’t in that environment that demands work from us.”

   However, both students recognize the efforts from the administrators and, aside from a few small negative details, believe they are using a beneficial system for learning.

   Longwell also is grateful for the district to help create a system for students to still gain the information as they would in a classroom. 

   He has advice for anyone that might be struggling with the new transition to online learning or just in general from COVID-19.

   “First, make sure you are taking care of your mental and physical health,” Longwell said. “Get out of the house at least once a day to go on a walk while maintaining social distancing standards. Second, reach out to your classmates or teachers. Facetime your friends, email your teachers, join the Google Hangouts they have.”