Can online learning be damaging?


Anapaola Gonzalez

TEENS DISLIKE REMOTE LEARNING. High school teens are overwhelmed and stressed as virtual learning makes it difficult for them to keep up with schooling. A majority of them have said that online learning is “much worse” than in-person school.

Anapaola Gonzalez, freelance reporter

Early 2020, there were school shutdowns all over the country due to Covid-19 causing students to switch over to virtual learning. Research has shown that change was not beneficial and had negative effects on teens.

Data collected by the U.S. Department of Education before and during the COVID pandemic have shown that in-person learning leads to better academic outcomes, better attendance, greater levels of student engagement, and better social and emotional well-being.

“I did not feel like I was learning,” Cristo Rey Senior Fatima Reynoso said. “Nothing my teachers taught stuck with me, and I did not have the motivation to ask for help.”

On average, students can retain 25% to 60% more information when learning in person than the 8% to 10% when online. Teachers themselves have noticed change in their students now that they have gone back to traditional teaching

“I think students are taking their work more seriously being in person and the human contact makes so much difference,” AP Government teacher Mr. Stevens said.

Not only has virtual learning affected students academically, it has also caused a change to their mental health. The results of a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered that nearly 25% of parents whose children received virtual instruction or combined instruction reported worsened mental or emotional health in their children.

“My mental health started to become healthier when schools opened up again,” Senior Yanitzi Llamas said. Reynoso noticed changes too saying, “I feel like I had more anxiety attacks as well as more sad episodes than in the past.”

With COVID cases on the rise again, eighty-four reported deaths in Illinois alone according to ABC7Chicago, there are concerns about teacher and student safety in schools.

“Too many students put their masks below their nose or even off their face when in the hallways,” Stevens says. He compared the whole situation to a game of Russian roulette.