Online vs in-person school: Which is the ultimate teaching method?

Since most students’ return to in-person school, curiosity sparked as to whether school was better or worse off as online-only learning. The answer interviewed students gave was mostly unanimous. Despite the change, some students enjoy the new environment more than the online one.

“I love it, in my opinion it’s much better than online. Being in person helps me focus a lot better and I manage to get more of my work done,” said sophomore Dakota Gillary, when asked their opinion on distance learning and how it’s affected them.

Another student, freshman Jacob Head, felt that “In-person learning is easier because it allows me to socialize more. It also helps that the teacher can physically see what I’m working on.” Some students need that extra push from their teachers to focus on their work, and in-person school certainly provides that for those students.

Students explained their reasoning for their dislike of online learning, which was often due to work being harder to complete. “It’s definitely an adjustment. Online schooling can feel like a blur, super tiring and unfulfilling. Plus, the work is so much harder to keep up with compared to learning in-person,” said sophomore Renée LeCompte.

Another sophomore, Lizbet Mata, stated “Online learning would be better if teachers did not assign work every class; It’s overwhelming. I use the time to do my class work for the most part when learning in person” she also mentioned that “it’s easy to be distracted when learning online. Anything can be a distraction like family around you, your own laptop, and your phone too.” Some students saw change in their grades, while some didn’t.

“I do think my grades have been really affected by online learning, mainly because before, teachers wouldn’t overload us with work like they do now. Every class we get at least one assignment, and that wasn’t the case before we started learning online,” stated Mata.

Another student agreed with Mata, despite feeling that in-class teaching is a good environment. Sophomore Dakota Gillary described in-person learning as “easier to handle in school” because she gets more work done. “I also feel they [teachers] pay more attention to in-person students, however I don’t think it’s unfair that teachers do so.” Students were also asked about their time usage both during class and after their early release from class online compared to in person.

“[During class] I would get to listen to music while I worked, that was about the only difference,” said LeCompte, “I would go to class, do what I needed to do, and if I finished early I would go on my phone or get my materials for the next class.” However, other students used their time differently.

Gillary admitted that “In Zoom lessons I use my phone and in-person I actually do the work. It was hard for me at first because I couldn’t focus well and I also hated not being able to interact with my friends while on Zoom meetings.” Some students were angered by the difference in privilege between the Zoom students and the in-person students, despite them having some more of the teacher’s attention.

“In person, if I finish quickly, I’m not rewarded by getting let out early. I don’t get a brain break to scroll through my phone for a bit or relax. They let out the other students online fully knowing that they will go on their phones, but they don’t allow the in-person students the same privilege despite being in the same class.” said LeCompte.

Overall, each form of teaching affects individual students differently due to every student’s ability to learn in a given environment being different. Ultimately, it’s the students responsibility to decide whether they feel being able to learn at home with more opportunities for resting their mind or engaging themselves in other activities, or if they feel that the presence of having a teacher in the same room and being able to socialize with their friends face to face that in person learning offers is more beneficial.