Letter to the Editor: online learning
Dear Lookout Staff:
At 17, I’m a veteran of online education. Grades 4, 8, and 10, to be specific … and now, three semesters entirely online at LCC. I’ve also seen the instructional side: volunteering to teach other students in an all-virtual format.
I commend the college’s commitment to safety, but I fear that some only now see the cracks in online learning. The world is not ready for a transition to digital classrooms; this current setup reflects emergency, not enlightenment.
I think I speak for many when I say that online classes are a logistical nightmare. Coordinating with professors and peers alike proves challenging. Dates and directions are picked out of never-ending sheets of black and white pixels, and one is never sure if these sheets are current.
Often, announcements, email, and content sheets contradict each other … if D2L even delivers them. Live streams are invariably awkward, headsets break, and data hits caps.
This doesn’t compare to being able to raise my hand and ask
for clarity, to pull partners aside and discuss a project, to listen for the
intonation in a lively lecture … motivation runs dry, let alone enthusiasm. I
know that I’m not learning like I used to.
This is no one’s fault: it is fundamental to a system that relies on the unreliable, on wires and code. I reiterate that safety must come first this fall, but looking into the future, I hope administration understands just how flawed online learning can be. We must not forever cede our classrooms to this “new normal,” sacrificing our education for reduced overhead.