Turning a difficult present into a brighter future

Distance learning comes with a silver lining


Nadia Martinez

Educational benefits to distance learning are time management, self accountability and self reflection, which are all skills that are very useful in college.

As 2021 begins, it is no secret that 2020 presented its fair share of challenges and heavy news all over the world. On top of the stress of keeping loved ones safe from COVID-19, distance learning has shown additional challenges. However, Bonita Vista High (BVH) students should take this opportunity in distance learning to improve their academic skills, which can benefit them in the future.

For many students, distance learning has proved beneficial because of the chances to improve their time-management skills. In fact, according to the employment website for job listings, Indeed, the best skills to acquire as an adult are organization, prioritization, goal setting, communication, planning, delegation and stress management. For example, assignments especially require prioritization, and, in some instances, communication. In order to manage time best, students must prioritize their assignments based on deadlines set by teachers and communicate to their teachers when a deadline can not be met.

Over time, acquiring these skills will help students structure their life in a way that allows them to accomplish even the simplest goals. According to Indeed, having a specific time set aside to complete one’s tasks allows students to think about the big picture for themselves and their work.

Furthermore, distance learning grants students the opportunity to work at their own pace and meet personally with their teacherssimilar to in-person school. Due to the new schedule for distance learning, students now have more time to focus on primarily three to four classes a day. As stated by author Raleigh Philp in his article, “How to Deal with Teenage Learning Fatigue,” high school students have an attention span of 20 minutes. Considering that traditional in-person learning required students to sit through seven one-hour classes, students had no choice but to dedicate time to every class everyday. Distance learning has allowed for more attention directed towards three to four classes a day which last 45 minutes—an improvement to in-person learning.

Currently, distance learning permits teachers to briefly explain their lessons to students, which gives students time to work on their assignments asynchronously after. Allowing students their own time to complete assignments fosters skills like organization, prioritization and time management. Looking at the bigger picture, distance learning encourages students to adopt new skills that allow them to succeed in school. 

Ultimately, many questions remain about these unprecedented times, but BVH students can still survive and persevere.”

— Carina Muniz

In a poll conducted by the Crusader on Dec. 14, out of 496 BVH students, 58.9 percent admitted that they were struggling more under distance learning than with traditional in-person learning. Distance learning poses many challenges, such as loss of social interactions between students and teachers and, most evidently, loss of motivation to complete assignments. Nonetheless, distance learning has given students no choice but to persevere in academics and acquire a set of skills that differ from past generations.

Additionally, before BVH shut its gates, a common routine of starting the day was having students or their guardian drive them to school. Now, students no longer have to experience the intense seven a.m. traffic seen at BVH before the pandemic. 

Consequently, many instances where students were either tardy or absent to school now look different in distance learning. Additionally, students who have access to a device connected to Wi-Fi are able to attend school anywhere without being late or tardy.

On the contrary, students without access to stable Wi-Fi or devices and distractions at home may face roadblocks when it comes to learning. However, the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) has implemented the “No Credit due to Pandemic” grading policy, which alleviates this problem by allowing teachers to issue the NCP grade rather than an F.

Despite the disadvantages of distance learning, students are adapting to a new form of learning and forming their own opinions on their preferences in learning styles. Looking at it from a different perspective, distance learning is an opportunity to develop and improve their academic skills all from the location of their home. Ultimately, many questions remain about these unprecedented times, but BVH students can still survive and persevere.