Shift to online learning smoother this time around

·2 min read

Students across Alberta started learning from home again Monday and will continue to do so until Jan. 11.

In an attempt to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the province forced all students in Grades 7-12 to go back to at-home learning. All students will go on winter break on Dec. 18. In January, in-person classes will resume on Jan. 11 after a week of online learning to begin the New Year.

Grade 8 St. Mary’s student Bethany Taylor says online learning is naturally different than in-class learning, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing.

“I’m still able to communicate with my friends and have a good time,” she said. “Learning online is good for me and I’m able to learn new things and communicate with everyone I need to.”

When schools shifted online in March, they did not have much time to plan for the online aspect of learning. Taylor says things seem more structured this time around.

“We have to be at a specific meeting at a specific time,” she said. “We have a schedule every day and it’s pretty similar to a normal day at school.”

Alexandra Middle School student Rowan Hughson says online learning has its ups and downs.

“It’s alright learning online and I don’t mind being at home,” Hughson said. “It’s just confusing sometimes trying to figure out what is going on.

“I really like being around other people, so that is really hard at times, too.”

The Grade 9 student says things seem much smoother this time around.

“This seems much better than the emergency learning we had in March,” Hughson said. “I think they’ve had a lot more time to plan this time around and to listen to feedback from parents and students.”

Jackson Harnett is a Grade 8 student at Notre Dame says online learning is a good experience.

“I actually do like it – it’s really good,” he said. “I like that you get to work at your own pace and there aren’t as many distractions this way.”

Harnett agrees that things are going better this time.

“Everyone is showing up to class,” he said. “Things seem a lot more organized.”

Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News