Students Describe Online Learning Experiences


Ela P.

Student doing online learning.

“I never thought I would say this: ‘I want to go back to my school,’” wrote Thomas Renner, a middle schooler from Pinellas County, FL, in his letter to the editor of the Tampa Bay Beacon.  This was all the way back in May when students around the country thought online school would be a temporary setback.

Renner listed some of the challenges he experienced, which have been echoed by students here at Longfellow.  He missed basic social interaction and was frustrated with the lack of teacher and student relationships.

Despite all of the challenges, our students seem to be taking things in stride.

“The most challenging thing about online learning has been learning how to adapt and learning how to use the sites to completely move to online learning. Other than that, my experience has been smooth, and I am happy about how it has been going,” said Momo T., a 7th grader at LMS.

Another student, Indi M., feels that because the system is very flexible, it has become less academically challenging.  In fact, most departments have amended their curriculum expectations to account for the extra time it takes to deliver and receive information in an online format.

“Some things that are challenging,” Indi said, “is the reliability of the virtual platforms. Communication is cut short because many people are AFK (away from the keyboard) or not paying attention, and you don’t realize it because you cannot see them.”

While the virtual platforms are an additional hurdle, they are also part of the solution in helping students stay organized.

“I can use Google Classroom to help me keep track of my sheets and when they are due, so it helps me stay organized and learn,” said 7th grader Taarini J.

All the hard work FCPS and LMS have done to make learning safe and possible for the students has not gone unnoticed.

“FCPS is trying really hard to make everyone feel comfortable about online learning with all the emails and material they are giving,” said Indi. In addition, Indi trusts that her teacher will be available to help if needed.  “Thanks to good old Gmail, I am able to contact them outside of class.”

To Momo, the most positive thing about online learning is the learning.  She has gotten used to the new way of doing things, and it no longer feels odd to log on to a computer each morning.

“I still have an opportunity to learn new things and have a chance to interact with my classmates,” Momo said. “Also, online learning has not hindered my ability to learn like I thought it would.”

Indi is also feeling positive about the success of the virtual learning system, having achieved her goals for the first quarter.

“I recognize that FCPS has created a relatively reliable solution to learning during this pandemic. And although this has made me exit my bailiwick multiple times, I feel confident in this community success.”

The students are definitely looking forward to making new friends when they return in person and getting to know their teachers and classmates better.  But staying safe is also a priority.

“The most positive thing about online learning is that it keeps people safe from the virus,” said Momo. “If we were to go to the school building, we would have a higher risk of getting the virus, so I like it because it keeps us safe.”