Online vs. In-Person Learning

Professor+and+Learning+Assistance+Center+Coordinator%2C+Tyler+Okamoto%2C+lectures+his+students+on+a+new+essay+topic+during+class+on+Zoom.+Zoom+has+helped+students+and+instructors+stay+connected+and+complete+courses+during+the+pandemic.+

Ryan Leon

Professor and Learning Assistance Center Coordinator, Tyler Okamoto, lectures his students on a new essay topic during class on Zoom. Zoom has helped students and instructors stay connected and complete courses during the pandemic.

In Mar 2020, both public and private school systems were flipped upside down after the Coronavirus pandemic established itself. World health officials decided that it was too dangerous to allow in-person classes to continue. So, in an effort to protect students and faculty, all forms of education were forced to go online. Thus, the age of Zoom began, and the world of education was forced to adapt to this new way of learning.

Education Goes Online

This was a difficult process to say the least, for multiple reasons. First, students who were so used to going to school every weekday for most of their lives, were suddenly blindsided by having to take their studies fully online. As one can imagine, a rapid change like this would be challenging for just about anybody. In addition to students, instructors of all subjects and in all levels of learning, also had to adjust to this new lifestyle.

All the magic of the classroom was gone, and so was the special in-person connections that students could have with their instructors. Well, maybe not all the magic. Although the in-person element was taken away, instructors still tried their best to connect with their students. While classrooms everywhere became empty, Zoom allowed classes to stay intact in a somewhat effective way.

Zoom Saves School

This is because of technical issues that prevented students and instructors from meeting (i.e., an unstable internet connection or a lack of internet altogether). Still, this new foundation allowed for education to continue. The thought of school being put on hold entirely would be unacceptable, even if some like that idea. That would have been a terrible thing for parents who were excited to see their children start or finish their educational journeys. Especially for students in higher grade levels who were on the verge of graduating high school and college.

However, thanks to Zoom, students everywhere were able to see those aspirations through, despite being in an online setting. This was not the case for everyone though. The transition from in-person learning to online wasn’t something that all students were prepared to handle. Unfortunately, some students (mostly college) decided to take a break from school. Perhaps now some have returned, but others are probably waiting to go back until they can return to in-person meetings.

College Enrollment Decreases

According to data discovered in Apr 2021, colleges saw a 25% decrease in enrollment because of the pandemic. This is very understandable. For some, it might be more difficult to learn a certain subject online than it is in person. Speaking from experience, it was a little hard for me to learn online at first. Even more so because it had been a really long time since I was in school. It has gotten easier over time, but I feel like I would be enjoying the college experience more if it was in person.

The absence of extracurricular activities is a major example of why someone would feel this way. Due to classes being moved to online instruction, all the fun things that schools held on campus could no longer be enjoyed. For example, field trips, sporting events, and even food truck festivals. It’s great that learning, the most important aspect of school, remained intact online. However, children, teens, and adults missed out on experiences that would have made school a lot more enjoyable.

Hopeful Future

Currently, most schools have returned to partial in-person learning thanks to the distribution of vaccines and lower COVID-19 cases. Be that as it may, society has yet to embrace a full transition back from online to in person. Even though online instruction has helped, learning in person is something that can never be replaced. All of the benefits that come with in-person learning make it the best way for students to learn and have fun in school. They’re why everyone should hope that all schools will be able to open back up to 100% capacity soon. If so, then they can welcome back their students and faculty to the old days of learning that have been dearly missed.

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