Online school is a controversial topic amongst many Americans. Most students today have experienced online school, but would they want to experience it again? This topic is something that has both pros and cons.
Many people say that online school is good for flexibility. The flexibility of online school can help students that may struggle with keeping up with their classmates and lessons. Now is this viewed as a good thing? I asked 8th Grade student Camrin Jeans about this topic and he said, “Social skills are needed to do business in the economy. School is one way to do this for younger students. Without social interaction, people will slowly lose this ability and it will be bad for businesses. He thinks that the flexibility for students to work at their own pace is a good thing though. As it would give students a better chance at getting their work done properly. But he thinks that the cons do outweigh the pros, and that online school should not be mandatory.” So Camrin thinks that online school is not as good as normal school because of the lack of social interaction.
According to an article on elearningindustry.com by David Castandeda and Sarah Rentz it says, “It’s surprising how many educators and learning developers don’t like engaging students in discussions. As a result, many courses and learning products lack options that allow students space to interact with other students or even with the instructor. And though it’s remarkable, the rationale is easy to come by, people learn through lectures, contemplation, writing and researching, individual activities, and of course from simply reading. We are always learning, after all, absorbing knowledge and skills from pretty much anything! So why even bother with discussions? Why include interaction with other people? Especially online, where—if done poorly—discussions can often devolve into endless required posts that students slog through. Resulting in a drop in test grade results.” So, this is why we need some more interaction in online lectures; because without this interaction, these social skills couldn’t be implemented into the real world. And, as the quote said, some kids learn better face to face, and only can learn what they need to learn when they are actually interacting with the teacher. So if online school has such a major flaw, what could be good about it?
Well, I interviewed 8th grade student Corbin Dow on the topic, he said, “He thinks that online school would not be good because some kids may be more embarrassed asking questions in online classes. And, depending on the program that you use, you may not be able to get that instant gratification of knowing if you got an answer right or not. The lack of social interaction would also be a big con because you need good social skills to get hired for most jobs. Online school doesn’t offer that. But there are some pros to online school. Such as the accessibility of some of the sites. But for some people this doesn’t matter because they don’t have computers at home. But overall, I think that going back online would be bad.” Dow gave a good opinion on this situation, and what he said definitely weighed into that bad side of the online school system, because what people are calling good things, aren’t actually available to everyone.
So overall people are saying that online school is not a good thing to return to this year. But, to really reinforce this opinion, let’s look at the safety and reliability of some of the sites that teachers are using. Some of the sites are not filtered properly and either cause your computer to get viruses and security issues.
According to the Washington Post, “That’s what Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, says he is worried about. Carvalho, who leads one of the largest school districts in the country, started his district’s online program a few weeks ago. He says he had already thought through the security issues, as the district worked in recent years to bring digital education into the regular school day.” So this is an issue because some sites could leak your personal information and cause you to ruin your computer in the process. So, this is why we need these special security systems that Carvalho wants to implement into his site, because without them, we could get viruses on our computers because of these “safe sites”. But, after learning all of this, and after interviewing a few students, online school should be something that doesn’t have to be required.