Coronavirus reshapes traditional education

Middle School Student, Megan Mosgaller, engages in distance learning during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.

Kylee Kane

Middle School Student, Megan Mosgaller, engages in distance learning during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.

The Coronavirus pandemic has left millions of people across the globe out of school, but most schools have learned to adapt to everything going on to ensure students are still receiving an education.

Millions of students have moved from classroom learning to virtual learning in their own homes. Teachers are teaching through video calls, students are frequently on their laptops or iPads and parents are trying to figure out how to help their children. Students trying their best to learn only online will reshape our education system in the 21st century.

“In having to make learning virtual, I feel I’ve had to really think about what learning truly mattered and what was the best approach to teach it,” English Teacher Christine Thoma said. “Students have had to undergo much change as well by learning resilience, time management, adaptability and more ownership over their own learning. All of these qualities are good skills to have for the future.”

Within a few days, school districts and students were required to figure out how to transition into virtual learning which means there is still room for error. Students are trying to adapt to these changes and schools are still attempting to find the best way possible to teach high-level education, but doing this could open many opportunities for the future.

“I think this whole experience is giving the schools a chance to try online schooling and see how it works out for the district,” Pewaukee High School parent Thomas Winkelman said. “It could possibly open up future online schooling options.”

Offering more online classroom options in schools across the world could be beneficial to students who enjoy virtual learning and could open up more future possibilities for them, but it could also make students less reliable.

“For our situation now, virtual learning is good since we can’t go back to school, but if it were to continue in the future it could be bad because online schooling makes students less reliable,” Junior Leonardo Desidero said. “It opens up more cheating opportunities for students, as well as minimized punishments.”

Not only could virtual learning create less reliable students, but it could also be an unfair opportunity for less-fortunate students.

“What’s detrimental to the future of education is a possible widening of the achievement gap,” Thoma said. “Students in communities that do not have the money for devices or bandwidth to do virtual learning may suffer as neighboring districts continue to learn and grow and others lag behind.”

Some students are not as lucky as others. Some students do not get the chance to continue to learn which could lead to problems in education for the future. This coronavirus pandemic could lead to something beneficial or detrimental — no one really knows. But right now, everyone is focused on a familiar goal — for all students to succeed outside of the classroom.

“I think many of us have a greater appreciation for in-person teaching and learning as the live interaction of a classroom is just not the same virtually,” Thoma said. “I know I miss my students very much and can’t wait to see them all again.”

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