By: Sameera Rampertab
Schools are currently closed, and classes are online now. Why? This is all a result of the coronavirus. Government officials believe that schools should close their doors to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Large gatherings are prohibited, and schools unfortunately had to close because of this. Social distancing also plays a role in schools shutting down. Everyone is advised to keep a six-foot distance from each other to prevent the spread of the virus. Learning online is a different type of social interaction that affords students the opportunity to become more adept at using G Suite. At first, students might be uncomfortable with online classes because transitioning to remote education definitely has a learning curve. Although there is now a wide availability of online teaching resources, students and faculty are still mastering the online system. Online school is a new way of learning using technology, and more websites are allowing teachers to use them free of charge.
Online school offers students a chance to learn in a different environment. Online school has several strengths as well as challenges. With shorter school days, I can take walks around my neighborhood. A typical school day is from eight o’clock in the morning to three-twenty in the afternoon. Now, the school day is from ten o’clock in the morning until two twenty in the afternoon. Just two weeks ago, students were told that the school would possibly be closing. Back then, it was a possibility and not a reality. We were also required to bring our study resources home with us each day. In the event of school closing, our teachers wanted us to have everything we needed. Then, all of a sudden, on March 12, 2020, we were told that the school would be closing the next day. Everyone started cheering when they heard the announcement. “No school!”everyone cheered.
The next day, March 13, 2020, LWA students woke up ready to learn online and sign into the digital classroom. Enjoy online experience!
Online school is helpful because some students may like learning in their own home better than the school building. The computer is the new school building. This means that your body is at home, but your mind is at school.
We can all agree that we can wake up later for the start of school. After all, school starts two hours later than the regular time! I appreciate that the class periods aren’t as long. They are about twenty minutes long. Online, we also have ten minute breaks in between each class. I adore being in my house and not having to wear a school uniform. I love the online experience because I enjoy using the computer.
Another benefit of the online experience is there is a whole day dedicated for extra help! Every Friday, teachers offer extra help to students who need it or who would like to attend for more practice. There are also forty minute classes for core subjects, including Math, English, Science, Spanish, and Social Studies. The Friday schedule is beneficial for students because it allows them to receive extra help. There is more time to ask questions. There is also more time for teachers to explain the material.
Although there are several benefits to online learning, I have also encountered challenges along the way. Students have to stare at a screen most of the day. The prolonged screen time strains my eyes, and I’m sure that it makes others uncomfortable too. Additionally, I don’t get to see my friends in person. We all see each other online, but it isn’t the same. The quarantine has affected our social interactions. I miss seeing my friends in person.
Overall, online school offers students a different option. You can still learn the same things online. Like everything else, this format takes time to get used to. It’s challenging to get acclimated to something unfamiliar overnight. It takes time, sometimes days and weeks. We are fortunate that LWA helped students make the smooth transition from attending school each day in the building to going online. I am grateful to the teachers who worked diligently to make the smooth transition to online learning. We continue to appreciate their help as we learn how to navigate the online system. Our teachers were trained from the very beginning to use Google Classroom and Google Meet. Using Google Meet is really fun, and I love it! Something that you may want to consider is downloading a grid-view extension. This extension allows you to see everyone in the meeting at once.
During this time, it is also important to stay healthy, Here are some tips on how to stay healthy: Washing your hands is indispensable during this time. Remember to wet your hands with water and then apply soap. Scrub for twenty seconds. When you start to see bubbles, rinse for ten seconds until all of the soap disappears. Then, wipe your hands and enjoy your day! Coughing into your elbow and avoiding touching your face are also recommended. On your lunch break or in between classes, it’s a good idea to get up and stretch your legs. Take a walk around your house! After school, (with your parents’ permission of course), you can also take a walk around the neighborhood or ride your bike. Doctors and health experts advise everyone including students to clean their devices every day or at least once a week. Some people recommend using a Clorox or Wet Ones wipe to clean the screens. There are also special wipes for screens.
Hopefully, LWA will reopen its doors soon. We have been in quarantine for about three weeks. Don’t forget spring break begins this week!
I am really enjoying the Lawrence Woodmere Academy online experience and hope you all are too! Stay Tiger Strong!