Virtual vs. In-person Learning: Students debate pros, cons of each

Illustration by Sunny Stevenson

Virtual vs. In-person Learning: Students debate pros, cons

Written by Sophia Hysaw, Opinion Editor & Staff Writer

Sophia Hysaw

As many schools around the world have begun a new year of learning, this year brought an obstacle no one had anticipated —  the decision to send kids back to school or keep them safe at home staring at a screen.

Although some complications may come into play while attempting to learn solely through technology, it is not as dangerous as going to school with only a mask and the hope that everyone keeps their distance from one another.

With a pandemic among us and cases being reported at an alarming rate in Wisconsin, the most effective thing to do would be to stay home and avoid the general public. Going to school could jeopardize the health of many. In fact, within the first few weeks of school, Kenosha Unified School District had 39 positive COVID-19 cases districtwide as of Oct. 7 — seven at Indian Trail High School —  and more than 700 students and staff out on quarantine. 

Sending kids to school just to send them back home the next day and going on and off every week isn’t very effective, and will most likely increase the number of cases as well. If everyone could do online schooling for the time being, then there might be a high chance that the spread of the virus would slow down, which would result in everybody being able to go back to school without possibly risking their health.

Sure there might be problems with connection during class calls and technology issues much more often than the following school years, but whether in school or online, the majority of assignments are online anyway. Although slow internet can get annoying, it’s a simple small sacrifice that could achieve a goal everyone wants.

No matter what choice you made for your schooling, this year will be filled with challenges that many have never had to face before. Though one of those challenges should not have to be the struggle of trying to protect one’s health and the health of others.

Written by Elly Herrick, News Editor & Staff Writer

Elly Herrick

Sitting on your bed while you do school seems like a dream, but for some it can be a nightmare. Ever since KUSD decided to offer the option of going in-person or online, a lot of students and parents have argued the issue.

For some students, it can be hard to focus on online, since learning at home could be new to them. There’s not a whole lot of accountability either; not to mention how easy it is to cheat on tests.

When students don’t see each other, it’s much harder for students to interact and learn communication skills. Studies have shown that about 80% of employers look for communication skills. It’s difficult to communicate and see a person’s non-verbal expressions by looking at an icon.

With no paper handouts, it also affects the student’s ability to memorize content. Typing and writing something down on a piece of paper are two very different. A person can’t learn how to spell by just looking at a dictionary, they have to put in the work, memorize and practice.

Even when students are present and ready to learn, technology issues are bound to happen and disturb learning. Going through both in-person and online, I prefer in-person.  In my in-person classes, students are very respectful with masks, and teachers don’t budge on safety precautions.

While in-person is risky, KUSD is taking precautions, and it’s up to students whether or not they follow them (no matter how many times the staff tells them to pull their mask up.)

For some kids, school is their only escape from home, whether they need to attend because of a bad home life or because they to see their friends every day. It’s difficult to make friends when everyone has their camera off and there is not a lot of time to talk to people, plus whatever you say will be heard by the whole class.  If there is class time leftover, some teachers dismiss class early. Kids with a tough homelife will take any opportunity to leave home, but when their seven hours of school is at home, it may be hard for that child to ever get out. 

No one should feel pressured to go into an unsafe environment, but what kind of quality of learning are you getting through a screen?