Give distance learning a chance

Ethan Gill, Co-Opinions Editor

Everybody has a different preferred learning style. Some people learn best from lectures. Some people do best with reading textbooks. Some swear by flashcards and some will promise the effectiveness of mnemonics. There are plenty of ways to learn for the plenty types of people in the world.

But a method which may have before been a disregarded option now comes to the forefront for many students stuck at home due to COVID-19 transmissions: distance learning, a form of online school designed to wrap up the 2019-2020 school year.

According to the district website’s page on distance learning, distance learning is asynchronous learning. This means at the start of each week for the remainder of the school year, students will be sent the entirety of their notes and work for the week, due back at various points, like Friday or Sunday.

This unique layout allows students the chance to work entirely at the pace they want to in order to finish their weekly workload. If they don’t feel like doing their math work until Friday, they can choose to do that. If they want to knock out their English and history work on the first day and then take it slow the rest of the week, that’s an option as well. If the student wants to barrel through every class in order on Monday, or wants to wait until the last second on Sunday, both of those radically different approaches are both perfectly valid options.

If a student needs to take care of their younger siblings, or needs to help out a neighbor during the majority of the day and can only do their work after 5:00, this system allows for that option. 

The flexibility is one of the many benefits of distance learning and online school. It allows students more independence, which is a beneficial experience for college, which is built largely around that.

It may even help students who struggle with focus due to the classroom’s environment. If the classroom is too loud for a student to focus, distance learning removes the classroom distractions.

Now, none of this is to say that online school is the be-all-end-all answer to all education problems. Even if some students fare better in their home environment as opposed to the classroom, that doesn’t mean that all students will fare better this way.

For example, online school will pose challenges for students who tend to get more work done when they have a teacher or friend to help keep them on task, or need a person to help them stay motivated.

However for some, online school will provide an alternative approach to learning, which is why students should do their best to take distance learning seriously if they have never tried it before. Maybe in the process they’ll come to discover a method of learning which works best for them.