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Change in learning caused by COVID-19

TUES. | 11-02-21 | OPINION

     School over the past two years has been very strange compared to what it used to be. With all the changes that have been made, can we really be sure that we’re learning the same way? 

     Thinking back on my freshman year, before the pandemic, it feels like a whole different school. I don’t know if that’s just because I didn’t really know what I was doing yet or if it really was different. Obviously there is some variation with masks and chromebooks, but perhaps there are some deeper changes in terms of how classes run or what teachers do. 

     I have noticed a few changes from previous years so far. One main difference is group work. With COVID-19, it has become a challenge to do group projects because of the need for social distancing. While this has improved since last year, it is still noticeably less utilized than it used to be. I believe that group work is very important for students’ success in school, and it is a great way to meet new people and form relationships.

     Another noticeable shift from a normal school year is the computers. Before the pandemic, computers were only used every once in a while in a class for a test, games, or online classes. Now they are used for almost everything. Many of the assignments are on Canvas and a lot of work requires a computer. Chromebooks are now required for all students to get, whereas they used to just be held in carts in classrooms and used occasionally.

     Personally, these changes have been fairly positive. I really enjoy doing group work as I feel it’s a great way to make friends and learn important work ethics needed for college and adult life. Group projects are always an interesting


Graphic by Jake Bradsher

challenge and a good opportunity to push yourself and your potential friends in new ways, even if they aren’t quite as prominent as they used to be.

     The change with the chromebooks is somewhat a positive thing for me. I don’t have my own computer so it’s good that I have an option to borrow one for school, though I know a lot of other people don’t like the chromebook rules.

     Unfortunately, there were issues last year with a lot of students not returning their chromebooks at the end of the school year. Teachers have been required to do surveys of the students with chromebooks to keep better track of that and hopefully prevent the issue this year.

     With the massive pause that the pandemic put on schools, it was hard to keep all the traditional norms going. Most of them weren’t COVID-19 friendly, there weren’t enough participants or it didn’t work for online students. Now, half of the school has never experienced lunch in the cafeteria, club rush or school dances. It’s truly a shame how much the pandemic took away from our schools, and I hope that it will be possible to bring these things back. I feel bad for our freshmen and sophomores because they’ve missed out on so much. They might get overwhelmed when they’re jumping back into Refresh and other previously normal activities.

     The 2020-2021 school year made a major impact on what the definition of school is. Some students don’t know anything other than online class now, and it may be a tough adjustment into semi-normal school this year. I hope that schools can continue to do the best they can to provide students with an adequate school year, and perhaps as the year continues we can eventually go back to the way things were.

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