Zoom vs In-School Learning

Many people were hit hard by the negative effects of COVID-19, especially students. The 2020 class suffered an incredible amount, as they missed out on milestone events, such as prom, graduation, and more. In June, many were hopeful that the Fall would bring in a new, normal school year, but that was far from the case.

While some states, like New Jersey and Georgia, allowed schools and universities to reopen, many states did not for reasons that became clear once the school year began. Within weeks of reopening doors for in-person learning, North Paulding High School in Georgia was under fire after a photo of crowded hallways went viral on social media. Then, just in October, a photo of dozens of students not wearing their masks in the gymnasium of Ocean City High School in Cape May County, New Jersey caused concerns for the public.

While schools that provide in-person learning are doing their best to place safety regulations for their students, there is no easy fix to this situation and some safety measures have slipped through the cracks. It’s not an ideal option for many schools in states where Coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, which is why many counties have switched to remote learning. 

Remote learning, not to be confused with homeschool, is the latest trend of education during the pandemic. This is an educational setting where students are expected to attend their classes at home via online video chat services, such as Zoom or Skype. Unlike homeschool, where their parent or guardian is oftentimes the teacher, with remote learning, their normal teachers are still providing the lessons, just on camera. 

As with any of the work-around solutions developed in response to this pandemic, there are pros and cons to both In-School and Zoom learning. Here’s a bit of a breakdown.

IN-SCHOOL LEARNING

Pros: 

  • Normalcy. With students being allowed to go back to their regular lives at school, they feel a sense of normalcy that they may not be getting anywhere else right now.

  • Break for the Parents. We all love our kids, but as with any relationship, sometimes you need time apart. Usually, that time is during school/working hours, but with COVID-19, you are with your kids 24-7. With the kids back at school, mom and dad can finally focus on their work during business hours and give their full attention to the kids when they get home.

  • Personal Interactions. Sure, this comes with social distancing in mind, but by allowing the kids to go back to school, we are also allowing them to be back with their friends. Having human interactions is good for the soul and is sure to brighten up your child’s perspective of this time.

Cons:

  • Potential Exposure. The biggest con of in-person learning is that fact that students are potentially being exposed to COVID-19. While safety measures are placed, there is still no way to predict how well each and every student and faculty member will be upholding those regulations and safety protocol.

ZOOM LEARNING

Pros:

  • Autonomy. Because many students are getting to learn from home, they feel a sense of autonomy when it comes to their education. Of course, they still attend their regular classes through Zoom, however, they no longer have to ask to be excused to the use the restroom or grab a snack when they get hungry.

  • Rested. Not going to school physically means that there’s no need to get up at the crack of dawn and commute to school. Students can now wake up a few minutes before class begins and start their day feeling rested, which can boost productivity

  • Comfort. Generation Z is the generation to report the most mental health concerns, many of which come from social interactions at school. Many students report feeling anxious while at school or giving presentations, and by allowing students to attend school from home, it allows them to take school on from a place of comfort. No more awkward gym class sessions or nervous speeches in front of the whole class.

  • Minimum Risk. Lastly, the most popular pro of Zoom Learning is that it protects our kids from unnecessary exposure to the deadly Coronavirus. 

Cons:

  • Lack of Focus. While some students thrive in online learning, others are struggling more than ever. Unless they have a designated office space to take their classes, students are subjected to all of the distractions that surround them at home. This could be pets, television, family members who are also home, and, of course, having access to the internet.

  • Less 1:1 Time with Teachers. Without office hours and classroom visits, it is difficult for students to get 1:1 help from their teachers. During class time, it’s not as easy as putting your hand up in the air to ask a question. Many students hold back on asking their question because it is hard to be noticed in a Zooom class of 30-50 kids.

  • Stress. Students who are not accustomed to having to be self-disciplined when it comes to their schoolwork are feeling a lot of stress. Their stress comes from not being able to be taught virtually, completing their work without the pressures of a teacher being physically there to remind them, as well as missing face-to-face interactions with their peers.

With all of these pros and cons for each learning style, it’s hard to say if one is better than the other. All that we can do, as parents, is to be there for our kids in whatever way we can. This pandemic does not just affect the adults, but our kids too.

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