Remote Learning is the new norm, like it or not

On April 1, D219 moved to a block schedule approach to remote learning. The North Star News journalism team wanted to hear students' opinions about the updated system for learning.

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Week of April 1 student comments:

  • It’s very difficult teaching myself subjects like math and science. Despite having instructional videos and other texts to assist in the self learning, it’s extremely difficult even with the help of teachers that participate in Google Meets or Zoom. It can be very frustrating since doing this online and away from any physical help, like asking a teacher to demonstrate in class, makes me feel like I’m not retaining much of this new information.
  • Too much work is being assigned.
  • It was better than last time! I felt more active and concentrated.
  • Attendance is really annoying but necessary I guess..
  • It’s nice that it was more structured and scheduled but I still cant get focused enough to do my work. I like being able to do Zoom calls because I feel like it helps but most of my teachers don’t do them, and I know that on Thursday and Friday we couldn’t do any Google meets/Zoom.
  • It became all about completing assignments and less learning, it’s too much busy work.
  • I believe that some teachers should give us more time to do our homework.
  • It’s incredibly tiresome admittedly. I appreciate the effort the teachers and staff put in to keep us focused and invested in the work they give out while we’re at home during these rough times but I simply just don’t find myself enjoying the constant work. At some points I just found myself not bothering to do specific assignments due to how painstakingly hard it was for me to try and not procrastinate when it came to such assignments.
  • The schedule before spring break was fine.
  • I like it much better now, but I’m still having a difficult time because some teachers are posting 3 assignments that are due that day even though I have other classes to work on
  • I loved having meetings on Wednesday, and I look forward to more virtual classes next week.
  • I don’t like the Zoom meetings but otherwise everything else was good
  • I feel like I was given more time to do assignments and everything is spaced out more. However, teachers are still posting a lot of assignments at once which is giving me some anxiety.
  • I cant focus on work because it feels like not doing it has zero consequences.
  • I definitely think that the work load needs to be decreased so that there isn’t an overly immense amount of pressure placed on the students’ shoulders.
  • Honestly everything you need is right here and if you need help or have questions you can easily do that.
  • The e-learning doesn’t really feel like learning– more of just going through the motions so that we have some sort structure in our daily lives while we’re stuck at home. It lacks all the aspects of learning that actually help you retain and internalize information and really just feels arbitrary (especially as a senior who’s feeling increased senioritis more and more each day)
  • Because the Zoom video chat helped a lot and the teacher sends e-mail for home work and it’s easy and helpful.
  • I preferred the system that was used prior to spring break because it allowed me to work at my own pace and I could get all of my work done when I wanted to. The block scheduling only make everything more confusing because I would have to worry about which class I had when and even though it was started to put less stress on students, almost all of my teachers assigned more work and made everything due on the same day anyway.
  • I like the way they organized this rather than how it was constructed the week before spring break. This way I need what I need to do, in which hours I’m able to do it, instead of doing everything at once and out of order. I have serious OCD, so this helps me a lot with keeping everything in order and to not feel rushed in any sort of way.
  • I get to work on my own pace.
  • I’m confused on a lot of things.
  • Not too hard, not too easy, not enough virtual meetings with teachers.
  • The block schedule is better but I don’t like the new form of attendance.
  • We aren’t as busy as we were during e-learning in the first week, so that’s a plus. I like seeing my teachers in Google and Zoom meetings, and I hope that “zoombombing” is stopped, as well. I think this block schedule could work out for the long-term but I still want to be able to go back to school, maybe in May. =\
  • I enjoyed the structure. The last approach was kind of stressful due to all the teachers having the same due dates. I like this way better because it allows for more wiggle room during this worrisome period in time.

Week of April 6 student comments:

  • Studying at home doesn’t give me the same learning environment at school and many things keep me distracted.
  • Some teachers are not following the block schedule and scheduling Zoom calls on new content during other classes without recording the lectures. Also a lot of teachers think that because we don’t have class everyday they should double the amount of work we’d regularly get.
  • I don’t really like this new block schedule. I liked it better before when we could do everything in our own time and didn’t need to follow a schedule, I find it unnecessary to go to a Zoom class that has no purpose for example PE, and especially when I can finish all the work in way less time working by myself without the schedule
  • There has been less distractions for me at home. I can focus better, think and work independently, and get all my work done. I also follow my schedules and and keep tight time limit for each of my classes, so I utilize whatever time I have and turn in assignments by the due date before the next class.
  • It’s impossible to do work it’s so confusing.
  • I can’t concentrate.
  • I have lunch 6 and study hall 7 so I have a 3 hour break after doing one class in the morning. It’s super easy and better then going to school because I don’t need to talk to anyone 😀
  • Although there is tons of stress coming in from this whole situation, I feel I am preparing better than any other senior class will have a chance to get, although their is no true replacement for the college experience, now I get to manage my time and don’t get forced to sit imprisoned for around 8 hours, instead having about 4 hours of work and tons of free time if managed correctly.
  • I feel that the work amount was okay but I know for some of my friends it was stressful due to how long most of the work takes. Even though it might not be a big assignment, sometimes things take a longer time to get done.
  • Zoom meetings are dragging the experience way below the level they should be at. Teachers need to realize that more work gets done privately than on a meeting on Zoom with the class. It is frustrating when a 40 minute class schedules a one hour meeting when it ends up being pointless because I am able to finish more work alone than on a video chat. What makes this experience even more annoying is the fact that I spend so long trying to get into meetings and half the time they don’t work or very few kids show up. I get being away from teachers doing the teaching can be tough, but having to squeeze in hours of video chats is the most frustrating experience in my life, especially if I have multiple classes scheduling meetings at the same time. With all due respect, most Zoom meetings have been a waste of time and my grade.
  • I enjoy having a block schedule because we get more time to do our work. Teachers were giving us so much work in the beginning but they forgot about how we have multiple classes.
  • The workload has increased, because now at home we have to learn lessons, study, complete classwork, and homework.
  • At the end of the day at about 8:00, when I’m relieved that I finally finished my work for the day, I see that teachers posted more assignments at around 11 or 12. It’s just another burden to carry.
  • I think this remote learning experience has basically worsened my ability to properly retain knowledge, and the fact that larger assignments that don’t help us learn anything important only contribute further to that.
  • I liked the idea of blocked learning so all the work wouldn’t stress us students out. But I feel like the instructions for our assignments aren’t as clear. I’m just hoping the teachers give us some more time and clarity, maybe all assignments for one day of e learning could be due on the same day so the students know when it’s due and don’t have to check.
  • It might just be me, but the live-streamed classes, like Zoom, just feel messy. Some classes have overlapping times for the meetings and are easy to miss. Students and teachers alike, I feel still are not sure how to properly utilize and work out the whole thing. It may take time, but I think people aren’t a huge fan of the online learning.
  • I like the much more spread out schedule, but I just can’t take the overload of work. Multiple assignments are due on the same day and some are even due on the weekend now. It’s a weird mess especially with the homework.
  • The amount of workload obtained from each teacher is a lot more than school originally. I not only have assignments due on the same day from each class but some are assigning multiple at a time. For me personally this is adding a lot more stress and it’s been a lot more difficult to focus on my mental health since I really don’t have any time to do so.
  • Overall it was great but some days I have only one assignment when other days I have 10, so that’s why I put that is was just okay.
  • I don’t think much too much is flawed with the system we have in place here and that everyone is trying their best, but the reason I’m personally not having a good time with it is I feel a lack of motivation to do the work from home. At school, I’m motivated to do the work and the explanation from teachers in person is much better, while at home it’s a bit of a struggle to start the work from home since I’m not used to it.
  • My head starting to hurt for being on computer way too much.
  • I don’t like this remote learning at all it’s stressful and too much to keep track of. Teachers could make it more organized and be on time for meetings as well. I haven’t been having a good experience, it’s just to stressful and not motivating.
  • It’s still hard to do some things because teachers still assign a lot of stuff at once and constantly as well.
  • Some teachers are still piling way too much work onto students, although some teachers have been very understanding.
  • It was weird having weekly assignments instead of daily work. Teachers gave a lot more work (which makes sense because we have the week to do those assignments) but when all your teachers give projects like that it feels overwhelming. Especially if you having something going on at home and it’s hard to get a lot of work done. It was better when we had daily work because it was simpler just knowing what you have to do for that day instead of working on various projects throughout the week.
  • my internet is failing me which means i should’ve ordered a hotpot so i wont take up any of my home wifi
  • Many teachers are not following the block schedule and others are assigning more work to do over the days we do not have class. I feel like it is more work and much more stressful on the students.