Two dimensional learning: Students still struggle to learn in their homes


Lila Ulmer

2D LEARNING: Students are trying their best, but is the technology enough?

Lila Ulmer, Fall Editor

Only a year ago, no one expected to be stuck in their homes for so long, much less due to an out of control pandemic. But here we are, after all these months, still getting educated through computers in our houses. There are plans to return to Woodbridge Middle School, at least part of the time, but no one knows how long it will stick and if it will even happen.

Some students are somewhat content with virtual learning. “I liked their hybrid plan at the beginning, but then cases went up,” said 8th grader Gabriella Rodriguez. However, she also noted that “students aren’t learning as much.” This could be due to a variety of distractions around home, lack of sleep, or being less engaged with their teachers through a screen.

Mr. Malmstrom, a WMS teacher, said, “There’s so many different restraints in virtual school. We don’t have fast enough internet in everyone’s home.” Slow internet often interferes with work and holds up learning. Even one person with bad Internet access can stand in the way of the rest of the class. It can be frustrating, and there are not many solutions.

Students are finding it difficult to actually learn. Candace Pinto says, “It’s been harder to learn, especially with technical issues.” Multiple students getting kicked out of calls per class has become a common sight, and an infuriating issue. 

According to researchers at Stanford University, the average student has lost a third of a year up to a year of reading education, and around three-quarters of a year to over a year’s worth of education in math since March. These numbers will only keep going up if schools remain closed and motivation to learn continues to drop.

In spite of the problems, online learning has pros. Gabriella Rodriguez said “I like how they distributed iPads for students,” referring to how all eighth graders received new iPads to help do their work easier. They are much faster than the older chromebooks, and have different applications that are helpful to the students, including but not limited to a drawing app, notes app, and Google Classroom.

Countless kids, no matter their age, want to go back to school. “I miss my friends,” Cody Ulmer, a fifth grader, puts it simply. Most kids can agree. However, due to too many cases and people at risk, schools will likely stay closed and we will have to take advantage of technological advancements like FaceTime and video games to stay connected with friends.

No one knows when things will be normal again, but all we can do is hope for the best.