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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Students miss out on social skills with online classes

Monday morning. After a relaxing and fun-filled weekend, students are forced to wake up at 6:30 on a chilly morning and sit in unbearably slow classes for the next six hours. Most students would rather be at home than at school every day for nine months. However, getting an education at home is no longer just a dream. Now it’s actually possible.

As school-based technology is becoming more advanced and tests are being changed from Scantron and pencil to clicking buttons on a computer, some believe that there is no longer a need for students to show up to certain classes at school.

As of now, computer-based classes like computer science now have an online option that allows students to learn the same material that they would learn in school, except at home on their own computer. Instead of attending classes like this at school, some people believe that life would be easier for teachers and students if the class was taught online, thus removing the need to show up at school.

Theoretically this form of teaching does make sense. Students can learn the material at their own pace, have fewer classes to show up to at school and online learning allows for more flexibility in students schedules. This all sounds great, but in real life, it’s not quite the same.

First of all, when in class, students dedicate most of their focus on taking notes and learning the material. If a student is confused, a living, breathing human is there to provide immediate feedback.

In contrast with the learning environment school provides, when at home, I can say for a fact that there are sometimes too many distractions to focus on learning. What originally was meant to be an hour-long lesson can sometimes take triple that time when students are faced with distractions such as siblings, phones and, most of all, the Internet. What started as learning the origins of Latin can turn into watching an hour of cat videos on YouTube.

Also, more importantly, being at school provides more than just basic education. Learning to engage with other people both inside and outside the classroom is a crucial skill that students can learn only in an environment in which they are interacting with their peers. Interacting well with other people is as important as any math problem, vocabulary word or formula you learn in class (you should still pay attention in class, though).

One of the main reasons that adults in the U.S. lose their jobs is due to the inability to work well with others — for this reason it is important that students develop the social skills necessary to work well with others and school is the ideal place for students to hone these skills.

Although schools are becoming more technologically advanced and shifting to online education, it is important that students recognize the need for having in-person classes and limit the online classes they take to only those that aren’t offered at their school. Also, a word of advice for online class takers: Don’t open YouTube.

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