Is virtual learning good for students?


By: Anne Littlepage

Edited by: Kaitlin Graham


It is that time of year for students to start preparing to go back to school. For many students they are preparing to step inside their school and sit in classrooms for the first time in over a year.


Since the pandemic began last year, many students only attended school in a virtual setting. A lot of those students and parents have complained that virtual learning has caused their grades to drop or that they don’t receive direct help from their teachers. 


Students have also complained of having emotional and mental health problems as a result from being isolated from friends. Since the vaccine is available to students 12 years of age and over, more schools will be opening this year with the traditional classroom, although the rise in COVID-19 cases may cause plans to change.


Other parents and students have thrived in the virtual school environment and decided to do virtual school permanently. Many students liked the convenience of attending from home. They can sleep in a little later and don’t have to conform to the school’s dress code. 


Also, students that were bullied didn’t have to worry about going to school and being harassed any longer. A 2019 Pearson survey said that “23% of parents enrolled their kids in Connections Academy to avoid bullying while 13% said they joined because they had been bullied.” 


Some students also have excelled academically through virtual learning. They aren’t as distracted by being with other students in a classroom. Students who are stronger academically have also been able to move at their own pace.


The rise in COVID-19 across the country  has many parents concerned with the lack of social distance in schools, as well. Parents are concerned that even if they have been vaccinated their children could be exposed to COVID-19 and cause the parent to test positive for the virus.


Even though children under 12  aren’t eligible for the vaccine, they  can still be carriers of the virus. This could cause the virus to spread even more, because a lot of their activities in school are group activities, and young children have difficulties social distancing with one another.


There are also students that haven’t been vaccinated and aren’t planning on getting the vaccine.


COVID-19 cases have resulted in 38 states increasing their number of virtual schools in their state. In Virginia, 110 of 132 school districts will use Virtual Virginia according to Newsweek. The number of students has increased from 413 to 7,636 for the 2021-2022 school year.  Tennessee has approved 29 new online schools for the new year and Minnesota approved 26 new online schools.


It sounds like students will be given two options on how to attend school. One is online and the other is the traditional school. Educators around the country will have to wait and see which one will become more popular. 


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Do you have a child attending school? Would you prefer them to learn in a virtual or in-person environment? Comment down below to start the conversation!