School or Screen Time?

By Taylor Sheldon  

“Even teaching, which has evolved in recent decades to emphasize fewer lectures and more collaborative lessons, must change.”- The New York Times
Will students be able to return to their school soon, or will school continue to revolve around zoom?Link to LOJ school image:    Link to Zoom meeting image:

Do you wonder what it will look like when students and staff can go back to school? What about how school may look like to students in different schools around the state and country? The New York Times has looked into what this may be nationwide, and two 7th grade students, Kellan Sheldon and Grace Vacek, share their experience with this new way of doing school. They have been in this new learning environment since the beginning of this school year starting in September after ending last year in the same way. 

Coronavirus has affected many people’s lives and daily routines. The global pandemic is the reason students and teachers are working from home, and also why the physical school buildings have been closed. Everyone has been stuck in quarantine and have had to wear masks while in public spaces. 

  The NYT notes, in their research on the current situation, “This year, nothing about school will be typical. Many of the nation’s largest districts plan to start the academic year online, and it is unclear when students and teachers will be back in classrooms.” That has been the case here in Lake Oswego, Oregon so far. Like the schools discussed in the NYT article, Lake Oswego School District hopes for an opportunity to have some classes take place in person at some point this school year. “Others plan hybrid models, while some are determined to go five days a week.” Regardless of when though, “When school buildings do reopen, whether this fall or next year, buses, hallways, cafeterias and classrooms will need to look very different as long as the coronavirus remains a threat. Even teaching, which has evolved in recent decades to emphasize fewer lectures and more collaborative lessons, must change,” says the NYT.  

Kellan Sheldon, a student at Lake Oswego Junior High, describes his experience as, “harder than physical school.” With no hesitation, Sheldon answers, “Physical [school] is 100% better,” when asked if he prefers going to school physically or online. Grace Vacek, a student at Alki Middle School in Vancouver, Washington, describes her experience as, “…been a little hard because I’m not used to online school too much.” When asked if she likes physical school or online school better, she explains, “Physical, because I like to be social.” 

Like Sheldon, it has been harder for some students but it has been easier for others to adapt to this new learning environment. Kellan and Grace would both rather be in school, and are just two of the students who hope it will soon become a reality and not just hopeful thinking. 

The year 2020 has been a roller coaster of a ride, and no one knows when the ride will stop. Wherever this roller coaster takes people, the hope is that the next stop will be returning to school. Education is important and people should never take it for granted! 

Want more information on what schools might look like when students return to school? Click here to read more. 

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