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Over the years, multiple stories from some of the most respected newspapers around the country have critiqued how detrimental technology can be to the development of young minds. Those authors’ worst fears may have come true as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
A mere press of a button or opening of a laptop has become a part of everyday life for students all across the country. With a semester strictly comprised of Zoom classes now in the past, many students have found themselves losing motivation to do schoolwork on their computer at home.
The online culture seemingly had a direct impact on many students’ work ethics for a plethora of reasons, the first being the lack of an in-school environment.
“Not having in-school culture has especially made things harder. Without sports and pep rallies…the entire school year is just schoolwork,” senior Marcus Kelley said.
For many students, having an in-school culture means that work isn’t the only thing ahead of you, because school supplies you with other occasions to look forward to. Pep-rallies, sports events, clubs, and times to catch up with friends are just a few of the examples. Having all those taken away can be difficult when so many students thrive off of them.
“Getting all your work at home can be difficult, considering that there is no change in your work and home environment,” senior Eliot Eisen said.
There have been long debates over whether an in-home setting or work environment makes a person more productive, but in the case of students it has seemingly always been settled that they learn more at school. Providing adolescent students with a workspace separate from at-home distractions (other than friends) encourages productivity. Considering the fact that the online curriculum is based on a system where distraction is simply a click away, many students’ work rates are bound to decrease.
“On-paper work was better. It was easier to remember things for classes when a large percentage of our work was us writing stuff down,” Eisen said.
Another possible cause of the loss in motivation for students is a problem many have seen throughout the online schooling process: cheating. Students do not need to try quite as hard for classes if they have another screen next to them to tell them all the answers. This allows students to not have to take class notes or have to learn the subject(s) at all.
Despite all these reasons to lower a student’s work ethic, some have found online schooling to be a nice change of pace.
“I feel like online school is easier because I’ve just been able to stay in my room and get my work done and have my free time for the rest of the day,” sophomore Kiran Sen said.
Certain students have been able to cope with online school because of the freedoms it has awarded them. With a shortened school day, four-day weeks, fewer classes per day and longer breaks between classes, online school has many perks that help some stay diligent.
“I’m still able to get outside with this small bubble of my friends occasionally, so not being in school hasn’t meant I lost contact with them. This helps fill the void that not being in-school has left,” Sen said.
Whether or not Montgomery County students will get back in school, there will be at least a couple months longer of online school. For students, only time will tell how they continue to handle the hardships and benefits of distance learning.