Good aspects of virtual learning

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Graphics by: Fiona FitzSimons

Deirdre de Leeuw den Bouter

Virtual learning has been a challenge for all of us. From tech issues, to bad WiFi, to low student participation, no one can deny that these last couple months have been trying. Yet, I believe there are many good aspects to virtual learning that go unappreciated, such as the longer allocated time to do work and the ability to pick up new hobbies.

I’m sure we’ve all noticed the shift in schedule for the beginning and end of the school day. School starts at 9:35 in the morning and ends at 4pm. This gives students time in the morning to complete missing assignments or (as I’ve been using it) to sleep in. The later ‘release’ from school ensures that we still have the same total class time. I’ve loved being able to sleep in, as I naturally wake up around 8:30 and have just the right amount of time to change, make breakfast, and finish up any assignments I didn’t do the night before.

Another bonus of online learning is the time we have to complete assignments. Previously, if your teacher handed out a worksheet during class, you’d have around ten minutes to complete it and then turn in. Depending on the teacher, students now have more time to complete assignments and are not confined to the hour and a half time periods of class. This allows students to build their own time management skills and more thoroughly absorb the information on the worksheet.

With time in excess, all of us have probably considered picking up new hobbies to fill the endless days. I myself began to journal, and found that it really helped to just sit down for five minutes at the end of every day to reflect on how I feel. It’s also nice to have more time to do school work. In my opinion, we should all use this time to the best of our ability, whether that be by catching up on assignments or finally trying out that new hobby. Distance learning gives us more opportunities to create new pastimes. It’s also important to note that not every student’s quarantine has been the same. Many of us have lost or know people who lost loved ones. If you’re taking this time to just get by, that’s completely ok too! We all know what we need to do to succeed, and if that’s time off from school, practicing self care, or something else, you do you.

Yes, this journey has been difficult for us all. The days are beginning to blur together and it seems like this pandemic will never end. The best thing we can do is try to remember the positives. I hold to the fact that virtual learning has numerous benefits. Being home has offered us unique opportunities we have never had before, and it’s important to appreciate them before we fall down the rabbit hole of pessimism.