Issues that can arise from distance learning

Emma Beyer, Newspaper writer

With the new pandemic that has arisen, normal lifestyles and routines will have to change. School is not an exception to this. With the closure of public schools and the beginning of ‘distance learning’, the students and teachers alike will have to adapt to the changes made to their normal learning. The benefits of distance learning certainly exist, but newer problems can also show themselves.

With distance learning, it takes place online within the student’s device. This can be convenient for those who prefer the learning done online, but doing work exclusively on a device can have its issues. Technology has always had its flaws, but now we no longer have a library or tech office to help out the students who are having issues with their iPads and devices. With normal school, when this device malfunctions it’s just a slight issue to be fixed soon. But at home, without a working device, the student is unable to participate in any of their work. Schoology, which is an online learning platform used by WFHS, has already had issues during the start of our distance learning. This shows the electronic problems that can arise.

Along with school devices malfunctioning, even when these devices are working perfectly fine it might still prove to be difficult for some students to learn in their homes. The change in normal school routine will be jarring for some students, and it will become harder for them to keep track of all the work online especially if they’re used to having everything in front of them along with their teacher reminding them. If a student is not in their usual working environment, it’ll become easier for them to be distracted. Without normal circumstances, the student’s brain will not be able to convince itself it’s time to work, leading to their work not getting done. A parental figure to watch and keep their child in check might help the student do their work, but some parents work.

Another issue to consider with the students is their mental health and disabilities. Students with disabilities such as autism will not be able to switch from one way of learning to another in such a short time. Along with this, they no longer have their educators and teachers to help them along, and assuming parents are able to do this work along with their real jobs is ignorant. Even if you push the disabilities aside, students with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD will be negatively affected by this learning change. Students with ADHD especially, as this brings us back to the issue of distraction in a student’s home. Focusing will be near impossible for these children with disabilities and illnesses.

With all this said, there’s really not much our school can do to stop most of these issues, nor a better way to learn while having to stay at home. The staff at West Fargo High School is working as hard as they can to try and adapt to this new way of learning, and are doing their best to help their students as well.