Optimist Opinion: Online School Comes With Downsides

Ethan Uhls, Staff Writer

I Am MCCSC Online is the new virtual option for high school students in a post-covid world. Beginning August of 2021, children may have the choice to remain in a virtual setting, or rejoin their peers in the classroom.

Online school offers students more flexibility. Nationally, some students have performed well online, but others have been disengaged. Learning in the classroom not only provides students with a textbook education but also with social intelligence and experience. Teens learn how to interact and converse with each other; they learn the nuance of conversation.

“It’s important for children to develop social skills in the classroom, and that’s something that just can’t be replicated in an online setting,” said senior Olivia Walsh.

The argument can be made that going to school in person is more essential for younger students, but for high school students, online school is still a valid alternative.

“I think that high school students should be allowed to do their high school education online because some students may work more efficiently at home or may simply find it more enjoyable,” said junior David Rice.

There is no question that some students work more efficiently from home. In some areas, there has been a push from parents to keep online schooling as an alternative simply because their child’s grades are the best that they have been. Although online school improves students’ performance, is that worth forfeiting the traditional schooling experience? That would indicate a massive shift in the education system if more and more students switch to virtual learning,

As some have pointed out, if public schools do not continue to offer online classes, they could simply switch their child into a private curriculum that does offer virtual classes. Can schools risk losing a large part of their students?

Ideally, I think that online schooling should be reserved only for those who need it. However, I do not think that the school should lose a large portion of its students simply because they refuse to offer an online option.

“I would keep it the way it is now, it seems to be working pretty well for students,” said Rice.

“If students want to do online school then they can do it through a private institution or company, but it shouldn’t be the public school corporation’s responsibility,” said Walsh.

I think the solution for the future is a compromise between the two, not going forward how we are right now, and not completely reverting to the pre-pandemic era. As of right now, I believe that we should offer a virtual option for students who wish to complete their education online, but it should be conducted by teachers who are completely teaching online. This would ensure that students remained enrolled in our schools and take some of the load off of teachers.

“It’s just simply not fair to teachers to have to juggle both teaching in the classroom and virtually,” said Walsh.

Teachers have been asked to teach on two fronts for the past year simply because there was no other option. However, if online school stays an option in a post-covid world, teachers should not be asked to bear that responsibility.

Since we will have more time to plan, and a better understanding of what school is going to look like, a better plan of managing the virtual and in person classroom is needed.

“Having teachers whose sole responsibility is online learners and teachers whose sole responsibility is in person learners, will take part of the load off of teachers but will also provide a better educational experience for all students,” said senior Ryan Norris.

The idea of splitting educators between in person students and virtual students would ensure a more personalized education, but who knows if it is a realistic option.

Online school most likely isn’t going anywhere, but how will it look to best benefit students and teachers?