How has social distance learning benefitted or detracted from education? Con

Michael Gray '20, Opinion Editor

The strength of a teacher comes from their ability to interact with students. Without the presence of a more knowledgeable and helpful individual, it becomes harder to learn. While we are restricted to this unfortunate situation as a result of the COVID-19 virus, there are improvements that can be made in order to maintain as much of this teacher presence as possible.

One of the main issues that I encountered with distance learning is inconsistency. A routine schedule is necessary in order to maintain a semblance of a routine education. Any inconsistency makes the intangible classroom setting even less structured. A teacher helps students learn because of the structure that they provide, and being consistent and timely is important in order to establish that structure.

Another issue with distance learning is the overall lack of teacher-student interaction. While some classes had Zoom meetings every other day, some did not. Of course, all teachers have optional office hours for students to ask questions, but that doesn’t compare to a mandated time for teaching and discussion.

During quarantine, order in one’s life is something that is hard to come by. Sleep schedules shift drastically, the days blur together, and days can be wasted on YouTube or video games. If teachers have regular Zoom meetings, a sense of order will return to the lives of students, granting them a more stable learning environment.

Lastly, sometimes Zoom class meetings conflicted with meetings for activities such as Student Parliament and Campus Ministry. During troubling times, students need to remain involved in the clubs and activities they care about.

Even though we were stuck with the misfortune of distance learning, that doesn’t mean we must be resigned to its current state. If classes are more consistent, have more mandatory meetings, and there are more efforts to schedule classes with school activities in mind, the education of Riordan students would be greatly improved.