By Jenna Kreh
Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, students at Hammond High School began the transition to a “Continuity of Learning” online schooling system on April 14. Since then, students have been receiving weekly assignments from their teachers each Monday on Canvas, and they have been meeting with their teachers once a week through Google Meet. This new education system is very different from what students have previously experienced, and it has proven to have its ups and downs. While many students work well under and even embrace, the new method, others wish changes could be made to make their education experience easier.
Overall, students from each grade have said that they adapted well to the new system and that the transition was smooth. A few students mentioned it was confusing or choppy at first, but they now feel it is running smoothly. Sophomore, Kate Rossmark, even stated that she wouldn’t change anything with the online learning program right now. “It’s pretty straightforward and in my opinion has nothing wrong with it,” she says. Senior Jordan Kreh agreed, noting that she has had no major problems with the program so far and that she even favors some of the changes being made. “The best thing about the online program is that I get all my assignments for the week at once,” Jordan says, “Then I can plan my week with no surprises.” Kate agrees that working at her own pace makes things, “less stressful and overall more enjoyable.” Most students seem to agree that working from the comfort of their own home has been one pleasurable aspect of online learning.
However, despite the benefits, some students have mentioned changes they would make to the current online learning program. Junior Kaylee Hernandez mentioned that, in some cases, online learning can provide more stress. She says that she might change the amount of work students are receiving all at once, because “sometimes it can be overwhelming getting all of the assignments handed out to us at one specific time.” Freshman Sarah Renkevens agrees that she would like to make adjustments to the workload. Given the opportunity, she says, “I would make it so that we have less school work to complete.” Meanwhile, Jordan has not encountered difficulties with the workload, but rather with how the work is being graded. She wishes grades were still determined using the letter system, rather than pass/incomplete, in order to better hold her accountable to completing assignments. “With the current system, senioritis is threatening to take over,” Jordan jokes.
Despite the varying opinions given about online learning, most students seem to agree that they prefer face-to-face learning in school to completing their work over the computer. Kaylee says, “I miss the social interaction of being in school and the experiences we only get in high school.” Kate and Sarah agree, saying that school allows them to see their friends and teachers face-to-face, which they enjoy. Additionally, Jordan mentioned that she prefers physically being in school for the educational aspect as well as the social one. “Face-to-face is definitely my preference because I feel like I can ask questions and receive answers in a more effective way,” she says.
Even though students wish they could return to school to see their friends and teachers, it is reassuring that there do not seem to be many major difficulties with the continuation of learning at home. Students are scheduled to continue online learning through May 15, 2020, or until other announcements are made. Hopefully, everyone is staying safe while being inside and students are able to continue learning with their online resources!