I Will Miss Online Learning
By: Candice Zhang
Dear Blackboard Collaborate,
I will miss you when I finally enter my traditional classroom next year - in January. I’m glad that my school decided to extend a semester of online learning for students, instead of voting for that typical hybrid-model. No, it’s not because of danger. No, it’s not because of safety. It’s because of the convenience and flexibility for education. I’m glad we met again - Blackboard.
After taking a bunch of online and physical courses in high school and college, I learned that I do best when courses are online. I’m really not sure why it works this way. Is it because I thrive with no teacher present? Or is it because I enjoy the flexibility and freedom online learning creates? I believe that it may be both.
I know others reading this will argue with me and tell me that, ‘Oh yeah, online learning isn’t interactive enough.’ Indeed, not seeing the teacher in person or engaging in the class physically may pose a risk. Some courses or programs like Construction, Fashion Design, or Graphic Arts may be more suitable for in-person classes but otherwise, everyone will need to be able to adapt to online learning.
Yes, the interactivity can never be replaced but our ability to choose when to study is even better. When we have class on campus, we may notice that we spend a lot of time commuting to class, preparing for our lessons, or even packing our bags. Since online classes only require a laptop and WiFi, we won’t need to prepare as much. This not only saves us our time but our energy and wallets as well.
Even when we do have classes in person, let’s be honest, how much of the time are we SPENDING to actually listen to the lecture? For me, I have a very short-attention span and usually resort to playing games on my phone. With online classes, I am able to see the slides right in front of me and copy notes right away. Studying course material is easier for me as well, since the environment is self-directed and convenient.
Yes, it is a different structure to our classes but just like society, we also have to adapt as students. With more flexibility in the classroom, we can choose when to focus on our course material and HOW we can study. Even though we can’t physically see our classmates and teachers, a conversation through e-mail or FaceTime will definitely make up for it. Questions still take place during class and we may still be able to retain the material that we learned.
Once we return to campus, we will never experience the freedom with online classes. We may dread waking up early in the morning, preparing our sloppy breakfast and commuting to class. WE will definitely not miss those traffic delays, long lineups to coffee shops, and boring professors who make us fall asleep. After all, we need to take advantage of what we have right now as the experience we gain may only remain once in a lifetime.
Therefore, to Blackboard, I applaud you for the self-discipline and motivation skills you have given me throughout the past semester. I thank you for the experience that I gained and the initiative I took to submit my coursework. It’s funny how in grade 9 I would read about online education and here we are - in the midst of it. I longed for this moment and before the year ends, I will try my best to cherish it.