For virtual students, the same tedious schedule awaits them each morning with no relief. Interacting with others is a big part of school, which doesn’t happen in virtual learning. Students have the option to ignore assignments and deadlines, which was previously much harder to do.
Consequences for missing assignments seem less severe, but that comes back to bite students in the long run. Grades in future classes will suffer if students don’t do well now. It may seem okay to not turn in an assignment here and there, but with that mentality, work piles up into unmanageable amounts, causing more anxiety and depression.
For many, going back to school in person is the solution to beat the lethargy and unproductivity found in virtual learning.
“During online school, I wasn’t engaged at all during class. I chose to go back in person so I would be able to have a better quality school day and meet some of my classmates,” junior Sam Johnson said.
Some classes, such as Personal Fitness, require in-person attendance to gain anything from the class.
“One of the big reasons I came in person was for Personal Fitness. We can’t really use machines and weights at home and being in the gym is so much better,” junior Jackson Canter said. “We wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the instruction without actually being in the gym with Coach West.”
Personal fitness is not the only class affected by the pandemic. Orchestra and band need in-person attendance in order to keep the same high standard at McLean that has been set by previous phenomenal groups. People choosing to stay home puts the quality of the music program at risk.
“I have learned more in band during my first week of in-person learning than the entire time I was at home on my computer,” sophomore Lukas Dannenberg said.
Students aren’t applying themselves when they are at home, and this results in a massive waste of time for both teachers and students. Cheating is also a big issue with virtual learning.
“When you’re at home, you have access to things you wouldn’t normally have during a testing environment at school,” Johnson said. “I can see that being a temptation for all the students that choose to stay home.”
With lack of actual learning, mental health issues, and cheating being big problems in the virtual learning environment, schools like McLean should make a greater effort to promote in-person learning to their students.
“My parents were a big factor in pushing me to go to school,” Canter said. “If the school also showed the perks of coming in person, I think attendance would be much higher.”
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