published anonymously by a student of GESM's International Secondary | 11 Sep 2020
At the end of last school year, we all had to stay home because of the pandemic. It caught everyone by surprise and school had to adapt fast to ensure that we have learning continuity. We’ve now started a new school year and online learning is still the best option we have during quarantine, even if it’s not the most enjoyable set up. Nothing beats face to face learning and seeing friends in school, but I’ll take this over getting COVID-19 and ending up with possible consequences such as permanent brain damage.
With internet and laptops at the ready, it’s become so much more practical to revise for our lessons. With “MS Word Online”, it makes it easier to write notes because I’m quite quick at typing and it documents all my notes online. There is also an assignments “tab” that reminds me when things are due which makes time management easier. Teachers and classmates are also almost always online so getting in touch with them isn’t so difficult. Unlike some schools here in Manila, at least we have access to education, and we can continue with our learning spree. Also, we have teachers who are here to guide us throughout the whole school year and support our academic needs.
Thanks to this technology, we can hold a class. But even with it, it remains challenging. Grading us is now different, some teachers have yet to figure out how to conduct exams to make sure no one cheats, and we can’t always count on student integrity. I know that some in my class aren’t exactly using their own answers during quizzes/seatwork, and it makes me mad because the teachers prepared the lesson for us, only to find their students have been searching up answers and I don’t get the proper competition I want. Yes, the cons aren't limited to students, but a lot of the problems do lie in us. Not that I plan to cheat (where’s the fun in that) but I don’t see how they can control everyone.
The Philippines has horrible internet. Sometimes, the internet is doing amazing and then at other times, eh, not so much. The fact that we are online for about 5 and half hours a day makes it hard for me to connect to the lesson and engage as best I can. Yeah, that’s on me but c’mon, expecting an easily distracted child to stay active from morning till afternoon is a little unrealistic, don’t you think? Also, sometimes I don’t even know what the teachers are saying because their audio can be horrible, their presentations may lag, and they can’t always hear us. And I find it awkward to have the cameras on, it makes me anxious. But again, that’s on me. Since our only break is one hour, I feel like we should also have 5-10 minute “eye breaks”. I’m literally working a 9-5 job (not even joking, that’s when class starts/ends) and my eyes are killing me. I’m going to be honest; this takes a bigger toll on me than Face-to-Face classes. There are no snack breaks with peers and no friends that can spill tea or make school interesting. Most of us can’t go outside to walk around because we’re being kept inside the house. School takes up so much more of my energy than most people think, and it sucks up all my motivation to do anything else. For unknown reasons, my social battery is at its lowest. I’m shocked at how quickly I lose my temper lately because I snap at people for absolutely no reason.
Not to get all medical but according to the old PowerPoints our nurses presented to us about devices, the screen time can cause big health problems consisting of slow reflexes, hurting eyes, nausea, dizziness, migraines, and lack of sleep.
Perhaps this doesn’t happen to people who can stick to a task for more than 10 minutes (how does it feel to be God’s favorite) but it certainly happens to me a lot. Despite my efforts to listen, I zone out like a teenager, backseat watching Fox News with my Grandpa. I’ll be there with my books, try to read, then mess up reading over and over, and then cry.
The will to listen is there, but the ability is not.
There are both cons and pros but regardless, I’m still very grateful to be in school. It’s a privilege to even complain about online learning because I know that there are kids that will be thrown into the next grade, cramming new information from last year under strict time restraint, and still have to keep up with the curriculum, in other schools. I think remote learning is also safer because the tasks are given online and there is no need to keep sending the students things from school, which limits our exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Thanks to Office 365 and laptops, we can continue our education without fail. Though this may have major drawbacks, this is beneficial for when Corona virus is over, and we won’t be behind on topics or be held back for an extra year.
So, here is a question that I am sending out into the GESM universe:
How are YOU coping with online learning?
Let me know your thoughts and share your ideas. If you want to contribute to this topic, click on the link below and participate.
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