In-person is a more effective learning environment

Adiyan Nayak ‘24

After switching from in-person to virtual on multiple occasions in the past few months, students have had the opportunity to experience both systems in the same classes, creating some contrasts. Spending extended time in a virtual setting has made it clear that in-person learning is superior. 

     During classes, the online platform substantially hinders a student’s opportunity to grasp the material presented. The distance between student and teacher in a virtual classroom is vast, and the communication is therefore affected. It is more difficult for one to explain a concept when they cannot perform live demonstrations or communicate directly with their student. Additionally, students are sitting in isolated areas, so they cannot quickly and efficiently confer with one another. This forces many confused students to attempt to learn the material and evaluate their work by themselves, causing a decline in performance and confidence. 

John Zhang ’22 working in the Big Room, January 14, 2021 – Ryan Rodack ’22

     Virtual schooling also makes in-class participation more challenging. It is far easier to participate in-person and be in the same room as the other students and the teacher. Having the students in the room makes it more manageable for the teacher to ensure relatively equal participation. Sitting behind a screen allows for students to turn off their cameras and reduce their presence in the class. Distractions in a home environment can also draw a student’s attention and hold it for an entire class period. 

     Even after the school day is over, the effects of virtual schooling continue to disrupt the educational experience. Having the assurance of virtual school the following day provides a temptation for students to put off work that has been assigned to them. It is easier to cut corners in an online setting, without the confining walls of the classroom or the promise of participation. The obligation to rise in the morning and immediately go to school creates a sense of duty in a student, increasing the chances that they will complete their work as soon as possible.

     In March of 2020, there was initial excitement among some of the students when the idea of virtual schooling surfaced. The school successfully organized the transition and made the most out of the situation. After months of alternating between the two platforms, one can safely say that in-person schooling is unquestionably better for learning.