The Jaguar Times unveils the good, the bad, the ugly of eLearning

The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.

by Ashleigh Owens, Opinion Editor

Kylee Queler (11) and Joey Lagana (12) have fun with sidewalk chalk after finishing eLearning for the day Photo by Kylee Queler (11).

Kylee Queler (11) and Joey Lagana (12) have fun with sidewalk chalk after finishing eLearning for the day
Photo by Kylee Queler (11).

Schools have shut down due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, forcing students and teachers to try eLearning from home. I have personally had a mostly positive experience with eLearning and things have gone pretty smoothly for me. While this is the case for other people as well, not everyone at Bradley can say the same. Technology is far from perfect and not having face to face contact with teachers can make learning material more challenging. However, being able to sleep in and work at your own pace can make school a little bit easier.

Students at Bradley definitely have mixed views on eLearning. Some students, such as Alivia Frye (10) who rated her eLearning experience as a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, feel that “being able to work through papers at [her] own pace and put more time into [her] work” is a positive of learning online. Alejandra Ramirez (11), who rated her eLearning experience as a 7 out of 10, said that “the best of eLearning is that [she] can manage [her] time and start at any time of the day and knowing that [she has] a lot of sources to help [her] if [she] run[s] into trouble”. Morgan Rutledge (10), who also gave eLearning a 7 out of 10, explained that “the flexibility that eLearning provides has been nice for [her]. [She’s] been getting more sleep and it’s nice to take breaks in between completing assignments”. Other students have not had such a positive experience with eLearning. Emily Sapp (10) rated eLearning as a 4 out of 10 and said the worst part is “the lack of structure and motivation”, which I have to agree with. Erin Wray (12) gave eLearning a 5 out of 10 and shared that the biggest bummer for her is “it’s [her] senior year and the whole senior class is missing out on activities [they] won’t get to participate in like every other class”. All of us here at the Jaguar Times are thinking of our seniors this year!

Teachers are also having to navigate this huge change, and this looks differently for each subject matter and class. Mrs. Horne, math teacher, said that a benefit of eLearning is that “[she has] had to slow down and evaluate [her] curriculum a bit. [She has] revised old lessons and made some changes for the better because of this”. Taking time to slow down and get things in order is something that I know I can relate to as well. However, Mrs. Horne also said “[She has] found it is very difficult not seeing [her] students everyday. [She] very much depend[s] on the social interaction in the classroom to read [her] students and know what they understand and what they don’t”. Our teachers are working so hard to make things work during these crazy times and I know I really appreciate all of them!

It is clear that there are both good and bad aspects to eLearning. I really enjoy being able to work at my own pace and in the comfort of my own home, but I think we’re all getting a little stir crazy after all this time. Many students are finding it hard to have motivation to complete school work a challenge, and I definitely agree! Creating a schedule and sticking to it can be super helpful in allowing you to be productive each day. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to miss out on so many exciting senior year activities and I wish no one had to, but I hope you are all able to make the most of this time and do things that make you happy!