Neha Pubbi | Torrey Pines High School Senior
Students are adapting to a substantial change in learning and teaching as most San Diego School Districts have shifted to online distance learning due to the pandemic.
While adapting, students discovered some advantages of distance learning. “There is definitely a lot more freedom with distance learning. You’re not confined to staying on campus and there is a lot more things you can do at home like getting food in between classes,” Annabelle Wang, a junior at Westview, said.
Some of the challenges of distance learning are isolation, focusing on a computer screen for hours, and lack of instant accessibility to teachers. “Kids aren’t as engaged, it’s harder to ask teacher questions, and it is not healthy staring at a screen all day,” Anna Ybarrola, a senior at TPHS, said.
For others the absence of the social aspect that comes with in person learning has been the biggest drawback. “I miss seeing my friends at school and going to football games,” Riley Testa, a sophomore at TPHS, said.
Many students have consciously made efforts to counteract the hours of screen time. “I make sure to get up, move around, go outside, and not look at my phone or computer during breaks between classes,” Ybarrola said.
Students have adapted their studying habits to adjust with the online learning model. “You end up doing a lot of the work yourself. You read the chapters and textbook, take the assessments, and don’t learn much, ” Wang said.
One of the major concerns with the remote learning model is ensuring there are no gaps in learning. “Last year abruptly going online, I believe there was learning loss, but now it is the same amount of information as in person,” Testa said.
However, students feel differently about the quality of education with distance learning. “I don’t think it is the same quality of learning. Right now I’m learning to pass the next exam, and then it is in one ear and out the other,” Wang said.
Students understand the challenges that come with a pandemic, like changing what school entails and they understand that the school districts are dealing with the uncertainty of these times. “Considering the current situation, the district has handled it pretty well, there is a lot of uncertainty to deal with,” Ybarrola said.
As the pandemic forces change, students are adapting to challenges and making the best of the new distance learning model.