The CoronaVirus (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that suddenly hit around March time. This sickness spread very rapidly in places all over the world. This caused everything and everyone to go into lockdown for months. Masks suddenly became something that everyone is supposed to wear for protection. As you can see, this pandemic has affected the way that people live- including the school systems. Big crowds being together at once can cause a bigger outbreak of this virus, so school was a factor that we didn’t know how it would go into play for the 2020-2021 school year. All of the schools shut down in mid March of 2020, so many people were eager to get back into the classroom. Warren County Students had the option to do either online school or in-person school. Hybrid was the option for in-person school and Edgenuity was the option for online school.
Edgenuity offers video-based curriculum for middle and high school blended learning environments. There are teachers that have pre-recorded videos to teach the students the curriculum that they are learning. I have heard many different opinions and views on this new way of at-home learning, so I decided to interview someone to hear the depths of how they are dealing with this new way of school. As a person who loves to socialize, I was very curious to see a viewpoint from someone who doesn’t have the social aspect of the school day.
Hannah Carter is a Sophomore here at Greenwood High School. She is busy with the Varsity girls’ soccer team. She chose to do online classes through Edgenuity this year and it has been a very different experience to say the least. “I don’t like school most of the time, but sometimes it’s good. It can be very stressful because it’s so new and I am still trying to figure out how to use it. Most times I have to teach myself how to do the content, but if I need help with something, Greenwood offers me a teacher that I can contact to help.” Edgenuity can be very confusing at times, but it can also help students understand the content that they are learning at a slower pace that can fit anyone’s needs. “We have teachers for each subject, but it’s not people that we can talk to in person. They pre-record their videos and I can go and watch them at my own pace. The teachers don’t know me or anything about me because it’s a video that was recorded for everyone learning the same content. If I need help with the content that I’m learning, I can sign up to talk to a teacher at Greenwood to talk about the questions that I have on content. If I need help with Edgenuity as a whole, I will have to email Mrs. Wittinghill or Mrs. Clark.”
Many people have been talking about the social part of school. Hannah is someone who loves to talk to her friends. I asked her what she missed most about in-person school, and her answer is something that is expected from a teenage girl that is doing online school during a pandemic. “The thing that I miss most about in person school are my friends. I liked school because I could socialize with them, but now that COVID-19 is here, I wouldn’t really be able to socialize anyway. But I miss them so much because I haven’t seen a lot of them since March.” Online school is a way that you can socialize from a safe place because you aren’t in physical contact with students. In-person schooling offers students to meet with teachers in person, it allows you to connect with students that are learning the same thing as you, and it gives you a little more of a feel of normalcy. But Edgenuity is very helpful to give students a new normal of our society that we are living in. School is something that we as students have seemed to always know.
Something that is very good about Edgenuity is the flexibility that it offers. “I can log onto Edgenuity at any time of the day, but I have to get all of my work done before 11:59 p.m. It’s very flexible, so it gives me a lot of time to work on my work.” Whereas in school, you need to log on around 8:00, so that you have more of a schedule for the other 2 days that we are in school. It takes about an hour to do just the writing portion, but I have more assignments after that, but it depends on the day. It usually takes about 4 or 5 hours to complete all of my work for the day if I don’t take many breaks.” This gives people like Hannah an easier and less stressful day because she can do things on her own time and at her own pace.
I then asked Hannah if she would go back to in-person school for the second semester, and she stated that everything was still floating in the air because there are negative things about Edgenuity, but she also loves the positive things that Edgenuity has. “Honestly, I’m going to play it by ear, but it’s a possibility that I could go back to school. But I feel like the more that time that I spend doing Edgenuity, the more comfortable I will be with it. It’s kind of up in the air as of right now.” Edgenuity is very different from in-school, but there are highs and lows that could be very beneficial for the students that need to go at their own pace. This version of curriculum is something that is still new to our school, but students are getting used to it in their own way. It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn in their own time in a safe way.