10 Pros and Cons Of Virtual Learning

Well, we've been at this virtual learning/ hybrid learning for over two months now and while I really do not like it at all I have found that there are some definite pros & cons to schooling virtually!  



I know that every school is handling virtual learning differently.  In my son's school when the kids are attending virtually they are expected to sign into each class just like they were attending in person. 

Attendance is taken each period and since the teachers work out of the building their day is still run off a bell schedule. The students are to keep their camera and microphone turned off (though they can turn on the microphone to ask/answer class questions).  On days that half- the class is in the building many of the teachers only log onto the computer long enough to take attendance and give out the day's assignment then they mute their microphone and turn off their video so they are not available for answering questions. 




Pros.

1.  My son can sleep in; for a high school freshman this is huge!

2. Lunch doesn't have to be eaten in just a 20 minute time span

3. He can make whatever he wants for lunch-- even hot foods.  He often makes himself English muffin or bagel pizzas. 

4.  School often ends earlier; most of his last classes are study halls and once he signs in he can log off for the day and be done.  

5.  No driving him to school or picking him up (which saves 2 hours out of my day).

6.  Since the cameras are off he doesn't need to wear his uniform and can attend school in comfy clothes.

7.  The teachers often introduce the day's lesson and then let the kids go to work so he doesn't have much homework after school hours.

8. He doesn't have to worry about forgetting to pack something in his backpack/lunch box.  

9. The couch is much more comfortable for a day of schooling than the hard chairs they have at school.

10. Friends and family can pop in and wave/ say high during the day when he's between classes or working on an assignment after the teacher has finished talking. 




Cons.

1.  Wi-Fi at both our home and the school can be spotty and glitchy and it can take WORK to meet up with each of his teachers.

2.  We have had more than one assignment get marked as not turned in because we could not figure out how to turn it in or we thought we turned it in but the teacher couldn't see it!

3.  Grades are given but since we can't see the work only the grade it's impossible to learn from mistakes or get any sort of feedback on how to improve.

4.  The teachers are working so hard and are so overwhelmed that we never get any answers to any of the emails we send asking for clarity on assignments (one teacher told the class she gets more than 200 emails a day!). 

5.  He really hasn't met that many students from his class as socializing isn't allowed during on-line classes and they are only in the building for classes a few times a month with 1/2 the students in the class.

6. Grades don't necessarily reflect what he has actually learned and knows since assignments go missing or he has to interpret a question that is unclear and make a best guess at the answer without having a teacher to discuss his thought process with. 

7. It is so stressful for everyone involved- the students, teachers, parents..  (I can't believe how much added stress this has given me!)

8. Since I homeschool my other two boys and we're used to being home working at our own pace; taking off on field trips or hikes on a whim, virtual schooling is actually pretty disruptive to our lives.  We can hear Alec's teachers and the bells while we're trying to do our lessons. I like to be nearby if he needs help and often put off anything we need to do outside the home until after Alec's classes are mostly over.

9. We can get loud and disrupt Alec's school day too and I think not being in a classroom with the teacher makes for many more distractions in the school day.  

10. Miscommunication errors happen all the time and not all the teachers are as flexible or understanding.  Last week one of Alec's teachers was unavailable to him until Friday and he suffered through a whole week of video assignments knowing he was getting multiple questions wrong with each video. He was then told on Friday that those assignments were meant to be done in class with her but the due date had said Friday... it was a mess and we're still not sure how it will work out grading-wise.  

Mostly we're trying to take as much of it was we can in stride and take heart from the fact that he's not the only student having these same issues.  

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Comments

  1. Oh gosh, the cons sound really frustrating. You would think with this being a new system for everyone that there would be some grace. I also don't understand why the teachers can't answer the online kids live for a few minutes every period. There are probably common questions being asked in those 200 emails...

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    1. I know! I often tell my son that if he's unsure so it most of the rest of the class!

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  2. I can only imagine all the headaches that comes a long with virtual school, for all parties involved. I love that you are also trying to see the positives of it.

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    1. I have to remain positive; I set the tone for the house and I don't want my son feeling bad about it.

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  3. With a high school virtual learner myself, these are all so true. I do love all those pros though!!

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    1. Me too! Especially the sleeping in; it doesn't hurt when he makes an English muffin pizza for me at lunch too.

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  4. I feel you on a lot of these, although I have no idea what online learning is like. We do an online homeschool curriculum part of the time but it is flexible. I just pull curriculum from there from time to time as filler. But there are days that I wish I had her in online schooling because I feel like it is hard to motivate her (and me). LOL

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    1. I have been having to force myself to do homeschooling lately.

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    1. We're feeling quite fortunate that we know no difference.

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  6. I had similar feelings when the boys were fully virtual. There were definitely pros and cons to each side. That's interesting he doesn't have to have his camera on. Maybe it's because my guys are a little younger, but they would get in trouble if there camera wasn't on and the teachers couldn't see them.

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    1. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's because they are older. Plus the teachers use a program called go guardian that allows them to see what the kids are working on on their school chromebook screens.

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  7. Our daughter and DIL are both teachers and this whole virtual teaching and learning has pushed them to the limit with both their children and their students. I think we all LONG for some kind of normalcy.

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    1. I have never been so relieved to have left the field of teaching. Seeing and hearing what all these teachers are doing really just makes me applaud their efforts even more. You know they love their students.

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  8. This has been such a big adjustment for us and we are going from traditional school to virtual to hybrid school. I cannot imagine the shift from homeschool to hybrid/virtual. I bet it’s hard, but how wonderful that you are figuring out the best fit for each of your kids. I agree though, the teacher /student communication can be so tricky! Have a super day!

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    1. Sometimes I think perhaps we have it easier with this transition in that we have no idea what it's "supposed" be like. I've always set up our school day to meet each boys' need and while it's a bit different for sure I'm basically doing the same thing with Alec. Though I am trying to get him to ask the teachers when he has question and not just come to me first.

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  9. It's so different doing the virtual learning! I feel really bad for these kids, as it feels like the cons are pretty big ones. It's so great to see the positives too though! Thanks for sharing this. I'm visiting from the Party in Your PJs link up tonight. Have a great rest of your week Joanne!

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    1. Yeah, I sometimes feel pretty bad for these kids too but kids are resilient and they really do amaze me with how well they are taking all of this. I try to take comfort in the fact that it isn't just little pockets of kids here and there going through this; we're all going through this. They seem to find ways to lift one another up and are eager to share what they find is working for them.

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