Students should take advantage of remote learning

Teachers shine a light to students during dark and grim times to maintain a stable environment


Dana Gaudette

Staff Writer Erik Lin writes that through uncertain times, remote learning is great way to be kept engaged.

Erik Lin, Staff Writer

As students, we never expected to spend the second half of the 2019-2020 school year learning from our own homes. Spring athletes were looking forward to their sports seasons, seniors were waiting to celebrate their graduations with each other and more. However, teachers have continued to keep fighting, remotely teaching their classes through Zoom and are a symbol of hope. 

At Algonquin, teachers are given the option to host Zoom classes, where students can go to learn. Out of Algonquin students’ schedules, their first four classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, and their last three classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays with each class being 25 minutes each. Teachers are also advised to give a maximum of three hours of homework per week, but many do not give an excessive amount to their students. 

On Fridays, teachers offer “Office Hours,” where students can schedule separate Zoom meetings to get extra help for a class, much like after school hours in regular school. This gives students a chance to have a one-on-one with their teachers rather than be in a big class and can focus on the materials that are giving them troubles. 

While there is a structure for classes and due dates, many teachers are often very nice and flexible when it comes to submitting assignments. Teachers are very understanding about our current situation and realize that there can be complications in both our remote learning and our own personal lives. For example, in my Chemistry class, we are given specific times and dates to submit our assignments. If we are not able to submit it in time, we are given a week to turn in the assignment for full credit. When teachers think that there are a couple of mistakes that you should correct, they will give students a 75%, but give the option of correcting the work for the full credit. No submission on an assignment would be graded as a 59%, but teachers encourage students to do the assignments to get a better grade. It’s never been easier to get 100%!

Teachers also offer help even if students don’t arrange individual zoom meetings with their teachers. When teachers grade their students’ assignments, they often leave helpful criteria, telling you what you got right, or what you got incorrect. They often encourage students to correct their mistakes so they can learn and they can do better in the future. 

Comparing Algonquin’s take on online learning to other nearby schools, it seems that Algonquin ranks as one of the schools that do best. According to my friend Mateo Diccico, who is a student at Saint John’s, students are responsible for attending two classes each day, for three hours total. Their teachers check in on each student and see how much work they have done throughout their time, and go over the limited amount of work that the students have done. 

Despite our ability to keep some connection to our classes through Zooms, the worst part about online learning is not being able to see your friends every day. Friends might not be in the same class as each other, and that would mean that it would be impossible to see each other. They could always talk to each other using social media, but that is much different than physically interacting with each other. 

Continuing into the pandemic safety protocols, it is likely that we may finally have the comfort of going back the next school year, although the safety protocols will make it feel anything but comfortable. However, it is possible that we begin the next school year online again. While this does not seem like a technical problem because we’ve grown accustomed to remote learning, it could be easy for us students to get bored of going to the classes every day, and could set up the potential for students skipping classes. 

I would recommend that teachers find ways to make the online teaching more enjoyable for the students. This could be done via fun projects, interesting topics to talk about, or other activities that would make the remote learning fun and entertaining for their students. 

So instead of worrying about all the danger in the world, it is a good distraction to be attending classes. It may not seem like it, but teachers care for their students and want to create an environment where students can feel safe, while also learning a little something new. I encourage students to attend the online Zoom classes and take advantage of their spare time. Huh, maybe learning something isn’t that awful.