After almost a full year of distance learning, students and teachers have just begun to adjust to the new circumstances brought upon us due to COVID-19. Hence, the news that most, if not all, Los Angeles schools are beginning to let staff and students on campus’ by mid-April shocked many students. Like others, I started utilizing online sources for help with understanding differing concepts and lessons. However, due to this aid, I, and many other students, began to take advantage and essentially let the internet do our work for us.
Although teachers are required to keep a Zoom meeting open for a minimum of 40 minutes per each scheduled period, that does not always mean they will teach their students for the full class. While the majority of teachers are dedicated to their students learning as much as possible, even through distance learning, several let them go at their own pace or even leave us to teach ourselves. However, this is not a one-sided issue. Students are now much less restricted compared to on-campus learning, which gives them access to many sources they originally could not get their hands on during in person class. Our new environment also allows students to take advantage of certain teachers’ teaching methods.
This became the regular routine, and now, more and more students rely on online sources to make sure they get their assignments in on time and maintain their grades. After every student entered a new grade, and are now reaching the end of another school year, school districts introduced the option of hybrid classes. Now teachers provide differing websites to teach students at a faster pace in their stead, whether it’s for reviewing algebra lessons or to practice annotating for English. AoPS Online, asl.ms, and The Concord Consortium are just a few of the many sites supplied by my teachers.
Even though students are still given the option to take advantage of websites containing answers and full projects or essays, in-person classes have been pushing students to test their own knowledge. Getting to class by the end of April and not understanding a single word the teacher is teaching is a nightmare most students fear, especially when it comes to tests and quizzes.
Moreover, these new websites have motivated students to learn what they did not over the past couple of semesters, especially as schools announced state tests will be taken once all students return to campus. Currently, teachers are encouraging students by uploading assignments where they are required to create their own distinctive work and show it through pictures as proof. These types of assignments do not give students the chance to slack off or find ways out of doing the assignment. Unlike a couple of months ago, teachers create their own questions for tests and quizzes. These new questions are made specifically for the teacher’s assignment, and therefore, cannot be copied and pasted into Google, as the internet can not recognize a question that was created just a couple of days before, let alone provide an answer. Eventually, by taking these small steps, students can gradually get back on their feet and into the routine of daily learning.