The Online/In-Person Debate


Isabella Infante, 12, studied from home while remote, while Libby Bowden, 12, works on a project in fashion trends. The debate between online and in-person school has been going on for months, with benefits and downsides to both (photos submitted by I. Infante and I. Williams, photo illustration by L. Kuhn).

Lily Haney, Staff Writer

The debate of online versus in-person schooling has been going on for a while now. There are many things to consider and there are many opinions floating around. It is affecting everyone differently.

Some students felt very strongly about going back to in-person schooling, so they held a protest. Other students didn’t find the protest that important to the decision made by the school board.

“I think it worked, but I didn’t really think it was needed,” Ashley Brown, in-person learner, 10, said.

Students strongly spoke out about what they think should be done, what’s safest, and what they prefer. Some students only see it one way.

“When it comes to the pandemic, I am 100% on online’s side. People have been really selfish throughout this whole thing. They’re like ‘What about my education?’ and I’m sorry, but your education isn’t really that important when it comes to people dying,” Chloe Maisch, optional remote learner, 10, said.

Other students changed their minds as the school year went on.

“When you guys first went back to school, I thought you guys were stupid, because I was like ‘Okay, this is going to be dumb and then tomorrow I’m going to get an email about how there’s COVID people at the school.’ [However,] I can’t do this anymore. It’s too awful. My grades are being affected a lot. I am definitely one of those people where if I’m not interested my performance goes way, way, way down. And so, this is making me not interested in anything. I feel like when I was going to school, there were always classes where it was ‘Oh I get to go to this class now!’ and I feel like I don’t even have a class like that because they are all the same in my mind. I don’t even have a favorite teacher; I don’t have a favorite class. It’s just like I’m ‘going’ to school, and I’m not even going to school. It’s the worst. I definitely would go back to hybrid, because I am so fed up with this,” Hunter Van Fleet, optional remote learner, 9, said.

Then there are seniors who chose to go in-person because they want that final connection to high school. However, it is still flawed for them.

“I am a very sociable and friendly person. I love meeting a bunch of new people, and I really haven’t gotten a chance to meet any of the underclassmen and really get to know the rest of my peers in the high school, so that’s been really frustrating,” Olivia Amos, in-person learner, 12, said.

Many students only see it one way or the other, but a few students understand the positives and negatives of both sides.

“There’s pros and cons to both. Pros for in-person are that it’s easier to learn and you can interact with people. Cons are things like wearing a mask. For online the pros are not wearing a mask and staying home. The cons are you don’t get to interact or do certain things for certain classes and it makes it harder to learn for some people,” Alejandra Infante, in-person learner, 10, said.

Every student  sees this debate a different way. Some people find it harder to learn, or make a connection, during online classes.

“No, I don’t think you can [make the same connection during online school]. I don’t think you can do that really because over a screen it’s so much harder for people to communicate especially with technical difficulties. The zoom schedule that we have right now, the block is packed with learning, it’s just a really long time period to just be flooded with all this information that you have to retain,” Amos said.

Remote learners aren’t always doing the same thing that in-person students are. This could be causing the remote learners to be missing out on some in-class activities.

“I was definitely expecting it to be more interactive than it was. I knew obviously that we aren’t in school, so we can’t do everything. But, I didn’t think that it would be the same thing everyday like it is. That’s the worst part about it is that I thought it would be kind of like normal school, but it’s really not. It’s the same exact thing everyday of your life, but it’s a new thing you’re looking at on your screen. I feel like there’s a lot of things I’m missing out on. It is disheartening when you’re on a zoom with five people and then you can hear the teacher doing things with the in-person people. Like review games and you just completely miss out on everything like that,” Van Fleet said.

Choosing remote or in-person schooling is probably one of the hardest decisions that some students and families had to make. There were many things to be considered when thinking about what side to choose. After having over a semester of the school year finished, students may have a better idea of what way they would prefer now. Remote works best for some, while in-person does for others. There is nothing wrong with either choice; however, there is a great deal to be debated before picking a side to support.