A Reflection of the Past Two Years of Millennium

Once the Covid-19 pandemic hit, all New York City schools were forced to close abruptly and turn to online learning. In the beginning of 2020, everyone was in a rush to figure out how school would go on for the rest of the year, hoping that all of the confusion with how school would carry on would all be resolved by the summer. In 2021, the online learning system was a bit more thought out with scheduled zoom classes, instead of the mess like the year before. Now in 2022, we can reflect on the last year of online learning we’ve all experienced, and realize what we missed about being in the building, but also the many pros of online learning.

The first type of online learning we had consisted of sporadic Jupiter assignments given out, with google meets for office hours. One of the pros of this type of learning was that you wouldn’t ever have to join a class, virtual or in person, meaning that your dream of sleeping in until 2 PM on a weekday was finally possible. However, there were many drawbacks to this approach. Having synchronous class time with your teacher and other students is when you can learn new topics, ask questions, and interact with your peers. Now, most would have to listen to some random guy on Youtube that you can’t ask follow up questions to. This method of learning was definitely not perfect, but it was impressive for the short two weeks that teachers had to prepare for completely reworking their lessons, and learning how to use Google Meet (though some still couldn’t figure out how to share their screen).

After the confusion of the last year, Millennium came into the new year with a bit more experience with online school and technology. With a similar schedule to in person learning, some of the asynchronous benefits were lost, but also brought back the much needed class time and routine to our lives. Although waking up at 8:25 for a zoom meeting was a pain, being done with school at 12:20 with less homework to do, gave everyone much more freetime. One of the missing elements of both types of online learning is human interaction. As much as we’d like to believe that the “lounge” days filled with Pictionary and Among Us were actually helping us connect to our classmates, sitting in your room staying muted on a zoom call unfortunately is not actually interacting with others.
Now we’re back to in person learning, and after experiencing online school, I think that there are many benefits to both. I do miss being out of school at 12:20, and my commute to school being just a roll of bed away; there are certain aspects of in person school that are incredibly important, whether you realize that or not. Being able to talk to your table is much better than silently sitting in a break out room, and experiencing the awkward moment that the teacher would join and no one would speak up. At first, I thought that online school was much better than in person, but after experiencing it for a few more months, I’ve come to realize that neither one is better. Both approaches to learning have their ups and downs, but it all comes down to personal preference, and having balance in your life.