Opinion: Schools need to reconsider focus of digital learning

In+the+midst+of+the+coronavirus+pandemic%2C+schools+have+diverted+to+digital+learning.+This+online+learning+does+not+solve+students%E2%80%99+problems+in+these+terrifying+times.+

Mary Jane Gagliano

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, schools have diverted to digital learning. This online learning does not solve students’ problems in these terrifying times.

In the midst of the COVID-19 chaos, schools have had to shut down along with the rest of the world. Schools have diverted to exclusively online learning, but this is not what our students need. 

Digital learning may seem like the answer to this madness, but in reality it is hurting students more than helping students. 

In the day and age where students feel that depression and anxiety is normal, the education system needs to reevaluate its values.”

— News Editor Mary Jane Gagliano

Students are having to deal with major changes and challenges within their homes during this shutdown. From parents losing jobs to extracurriculars being ripped away, students do not need the additional stress of projects and assessments.

Teachers are being informed not to give more than a certain amount of work to students every week. However, some teachers fill this time with busy work that does not help students learn the curriculum. Although it is important to maintain students’ education, online learning is not a permanent solution to this problem. 

In the day and age where students feel that depression and anxiety is normal, the education system needs to reevaluate its values. It needs to refocus itself on what is really important: the students. 

Help students explore and understand this global crisis in meaningful ways, not sit down at a computer for hours on end.

Instead of completing projects and handouts, students should be given assignments to discover how the coronavirus impacts them. Journaling on a daily basis could replace writing essays, digging into current events could replace history lessons, or analyzing graphs about the virus could replace graphing worksheets.

This is not just a matter of moving schooling online. This is taking away students’ social interactions. This is taking away students’ livelihoods. This is taking away students’ mental stability. 

It’s a time to take a moment to breathe, regroup, and refocus on what truly matters. It’s not a time to worry about assignments and grades. Now is the time for youth to focus on their mental health and working together to get through this crisis. 

The education system needs to reevaluate the effectiveness and intent of digital learning to see if it is helping or harming its students.

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