Student Perspective on Online Learning: Not So Fun



An image of a student on a computer screen going through distant learning.

Cristina Cornista, Opinion Editor

     The year 2020 is every doomsdayer’s dream and everything apocalypse movies wished they were. And while they thought they prepared us for the worst, one thing “2012” and “World War Z” never saw coming was virtual education.

       As with everything, online learning has its pros and its cons. Students are kept safe from exposure of COVID, have more freedom, and generally have more time to finish their assignments. However, these benefits are far from outweighing the negatives that come alongside online learning.

      For me, online learning has been a nightmare. There isn’t a day where I don’t get distracted from my Zoom classes because my dog is barking, one of my family members is calling my name, or the internet connection decides to cut out at the worst moment. Oftentimes, I miss out on important information that I’m supposed to know because of all the interruptions I experience in my household. Though I used to groan at the thought of going back to school, I realize now that the classroom is a luxury compared to a home filled with constant distractions.

      Another problem with online learning is that it mainly benefits the students who are self-motivated, have support from parents or other family members, or people who are visual or auditory learners who learn best from pre recorded videos and textbooks. 

        Students who need one-on-one instruction (like special education kids, students who struggle with English, and elementary schoolers who get distracted easily) are deprived from it.  Students who come from a low-income background also have to work at essential jobs and struggle to balance work and school at the same time. Some students need to have a structured routine, set deadlines, teachers to guide them, and a safe place to learn, all of which virtual education robs them from. 

        Another problem with online learning is that there is a strong reliability on the Internet working to get through your classes. This comes with lots of disadvantages. 

        For one, when the Internet is down, there is no backup plan. If school was physical, there would be an easy solution to this problem such as reverting back to worksheets. However, in virtual learning, the only solution to this problem is to hope and pray that the Internet starts to work again. 

      Alongside that, social interaction online is just not the same as distance learning. Gone is the casual chit-chat and spontaneous ‘hello’s’ from acquaintances in the hallways. Friendly greetings and conversations are now replaced by chat boxes, text messages, and emojis. 

     While virtual education may be the best way of learning for some, computer screens and Zoom classes can never replace in-person learning.