The pandemic has horribly affected students’ chances of catching up to the learning curve
By Anthony Almanza, Nick Dedes, Srinand Mudunuri and Leonardo Arias Soto
Students and teachers agree: the online learning experience was a pain. There was always a new problem, whether it was technology issues or just the overall learning gap it caused.
According to NBC Bay Area, “Our analysis shows that the impact of the pandemic on K–12 student learning was significant, leaving students on average five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading by the end of the school year.” If we head back into online learning again with the threat of a new variant on the rise, we may see that gap turn into a void that could never be filled again.
Summit Denali High School has been affected by the achievement gap caused by online learning. Many students have shown the difference between in-person and online learning through their GPA and average test scores.
Summit Denali freshman history teacher Sven Engvall found, in his experiences as a teacher, conducting online classes was much less fruit-bearing and much more complicated than teaching in person. Engvall also said, “Online school was much harder to teach compared to in-person school because it wasn’t easy teaching to blank screens with names written on them.”
Furthermore, Math I teacher Tini Raman said she “felt that online school was harder to teach, as some students lacked the attention they needed.” The online school format does have an impact according to her experiences as a teacher.
According to Indiatoday, “Teachers mostly face challenges like lack of IT support, continuous technological changes, unequal access for all students, unoptimized software for mobile devices, and security issues.” Online education has been hard for teachers to teach because it is harder to communicate with students.
Freshman Ian Rodriguez was not able to learn nearly as much as he could have. “During online school, it was harder for me to learn and be focussed causing me to have mind-blocks and bad grades,” he replied. It caused many students to have a harder time learning things that they would normally learn easily in person.
There were many problems that occurred during online school technology-wise that caused freshman Julian Pai and many others to cut in and out of class meaning that they were not able to learn properly. “I feel like I did not learn as much during online school as I could have in-person,” he said.
According to McKinsey.com, “The pandemic widened preexisting opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest. In math, students in majority Black schools ended the year with six months of unfinished learning, students in low-income schools with seven.” Students have had trouble learning through online school causing students to not finish high school and not learn as much as they should.
“I am glad that we came back to in-person learning,” Raman said. “It has made it much easier for me to teach, and my students have been able to learn a lot more.”
Featured image at the top of the page:
Students return to in-person school at Summit Denali High School. PHOTO CREDIT: Sophia Garcia