Going to school on Zoom was a new process and experience for many students around the country. Getting used to not seeing teachers in person for help or meeting with other students was definitely something different for everyone. Although Blake has already started the in-person learning process, still keeping it optional, should attending class on Zoom still be offered post-pandemic?
Schools have already started opening for those who find it difficult to learn online. But for us students that seem to work better at their homes with all their work easily accessible online, going to classes online should be offered after schools open entirely. This could be helpful for those who can’t make it to school if they miss the bus or feel sick, etc. Instead of missing out on school entirely, they would be able to make up for what they missed by logging on and watching their classes at home.
Online school is also more comfortable given that you can log on from anywhere with an internet connection, and you’re attending school from the comfort of your own home. Anyone can wear or look however they want without worrying about people seeing you and learning is much easier when you’re not worrying about what others think. Students have busy lives and logging onto Zoom can make it easier for students to fit school into their busy schedules. It would definitely help with students’ attendance in case they need to travel or be away from home for any reason.
I know that for me, I work best at home because I don’t have to worry about what others are saying or thinking about me and I can work in the environment that I’m most comfortable in. Sitting in one quiet spot in an uncomfortable chair for so long would make me feel restless and irritable. At home, I can work from my desk, my bed, the living room, and a number of other places around the house which would control that annoyance.
Montgomery County has already announced a full time virtual academy, called Montgomery Virtual, for next school year. It’s planned to be open for all MCPS students. They will still have access to all school resources including meals and extracurricular activities. Once students enroll, they would have to commit to it for the whole year. Montgomery Virtual was designed to accommodate the flexibility that online learning provides, which would help students like me who work more efficiently from home. The new program seems to hit all the points on why someone would prefer a virtual academy. You don’t have to stay at school all day and students can do all their work from easily portable devices, which will allow them to learn from home, work, or other places students have to be during school hours.
While other students work better in the school building, having a virtual academy next school year for students that work best at home is very necessary for our community. As a bonus, it’ll allow students to perform better due to school being easily accessible from anywhere.