Online vs. In Person School – In Person is Better


Fully online or hybrid school is looking to be the new normal for Faith Lutheran and many schools around the world. Some students enjoy being able to learn from the comfort of their own home, while others would rather be surrounded by friends and take in information from a traditional classroom. Learning in a classroom is far superior for both students and teachers for many reasons.

First of all, a student’s bedroom is filled with many distractions that are not present in a classroom. Students have full access to their phones, Apple watches, televisions, video games, and other random work on their computer when they are at home under no direct teacher supervision. It is much easier for kids to start working on something else on their computer when classes are online rather than when a teacher is teaching in front of them and making sure their students are staying on task. This causes difficulty for both students and teachers. Teachers cannot command the attention of their students through a screen as easily as in person and cannot simply ask students to pay attention and close their computers when that would shut down the class completely. When students are distracted at home on their social media or just doing other work, they are missing instructions for assignments and are not learning the information they will need for future tests. Distraction at home is a big problem.

Another issue with students learning from home is technology issues and family involvement. When an entire household is working from home, not only is the Wi-Fi stressed from holding so many devices, people tend to get in each other’s way. When your parents are running the vacuum, the gardeners are running the lawn mower, and your younger brother is screaming about going to math class, focus can be easily taken away from learning and onto making your family quiet. There are also constant technology issues on both ends.

“The worst part of being online is the technology issues… I use my computer all day and it is really slow and I have to restart it often. It also randomly dies during my Zoom meetings or examsoft quizzes,” said Alex Ulitchny, a FLHS sophomore.

Not only can personal Wi-Fi issues cause problems for one person at home, but school-wide Zoom or Wi-Fi issues can stall the online cohort an entire day or cancel out classes on an entire side of the school. Technology is great, but can be super unreliable, causing more stress and problems for students who are just trying to get to class.

Zoom also disconnects students from their teachers and from each other, creating a fragmented environment that greatly takes away from the social aspect of school. Zoom makes communication very difficult as students are usually on mute and it is much more difficult for students to ask and answer questions and teachers to pull online students into the regular classroom discussion.

“It is hard to communicate and be a part of the class on Zoom. I feel like I am more a part of the class when I am actually on campus,” said FLHS senior, Hannah Propst.

When half a class is on a screen and the other half is spread six feet apart throughout a classroom, communication is very difficult. During a normal year, it is common for students to turn around and talk to their friends during breaks in class or before it starts. This is so much harder now as students have to talk across the room, while wearing a mark, in order to communicate and when their friends are online, it is nearly impossible to find time to see and talk to them. The separation of cohorts, while completely necessary during our times, has eliminated student’s ability to connect with their friends and teachers like what would normally be possible any other year.

Apart from the actual learning aspect of school, this new approach to learning has taken away many school activities that students look forward to like dances, football games, and other in-person activities. This causes the student body to lose their enthusiasm for school due to a lack of class comradery and the ability to look forward to after school events. A big part of high school is doing things with your friends such as going to homecoming, attending a sporting event, or seeing each other every day at practice or lunch, and because of hybrid learning, a lot of this is taken away from students.

For these reasons and an overall lack of motivation for students to learn and work at home, I believe learning in a classroom is not only preferred, but way more effective for both kids, parents, and teachers. During the times of COVID-19, online or hybrid learning is necessary to keep everyone safe, but most of us are hoping to be back to normal on-campus learning soon.