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Tween Talks: Thoughts On Online Learning

by Julian Pires, Age 12

What Is Good About Online Learning?

Online learning allows us to properly learn during times like these. If we didn’t have online schooling, most students would not get the chance to keep up with the academic system.

In addition to this, it also can be done easily with Zoom calls, and most students these days can access such applications with their own devices. In schools, we normally use Zoom and other applications together to set work, do the lesson face-to-face, and talk to those who do not have access to a working mic.

What Is Bad About Online Learning?

A lot of students do not pay attention, don’t bother to learn, or just play video games. I’ve noticed this happening quite a few times, and, somehow, the teacher does not notice that the student isn’t paying attention.

Furthermore, online learning can be incredibly confusing. Sometimes, teachers cannot or do not know how to use the applications to make things easier for them and the students. For example, when I had been using Zoom for almost two months, I had only seen one teacher using the “Groups” feature. This feature is used to separate the students who need a challenge from the ones who find the topic a challenge. I understand that some teachers weren’t taught how to teach online, but I would have liked it if they learnt how to use the applications properly a month into the school year.

Likewise, what makes it more confusing is when students talk about different topics and ask questions all at the same moment. It can be baffling for everyone involved.

In addition to this, it also can be done easily with Zoom calls, and most students these days can access such applications with their own devices. In schools, we normally use Zoom and other applications together to set work, do the lesson face-to-face, and talk to those who do not have access to a working mic.

What About Mixed Learning?

Mixed learning is when students go to school one day and then do online learning the next. I would personally prefer if schools stuck to either in-person or online learning.

Mixed classes are miles more confusing than online ones. I think this is because it can get so chaotic when someone online is talking, someone in school is talking, and then the teacher is talking. When I had online classes full-time, I found that most teachers paid more attention and asked more questions to the students who were present in school, physically. This makes it hard for the others to understand the topics being taught. I reckon that teachers should pay more attention to the students online, especially the ones without microphones.

Which Applications Do I Recommend?

I felt that Microsoft Teams was the best software I used as it can host calls, have meeting chats, and let teachers set tasks in the “Assignments” section. It also didn’t lag much, and I always found it reliable. Since this academic year, my school has been using another software, and I find that Teams was noticeably better. That is why I recommend Microsoft Teams for online classes.

What Can Make Online Learning Better?

Online learning would be so much better if teachers were more attentive during lessons and could spot when a student is confused or not paying attention. In addition to this, there should be some sort of punishment for students playing games or watching videos during lessons. I haven’t seen or heard of any, yet.

Do I Like Online School?

Yes. It has its drawbacks, but I like it. It’s a good way to learn and keeps students and teachers active even during lockdowns. It could be improved, but I would personally still find school fun, whether it is mixed, online, or in-person.

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