Zoom Versus in-Person Learning

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As an educator myself, I have given much thought to students returning to in-person classes instead of continuing on Zoom. Since I believe education is one of the most important components in the process of developing who we are and who we eventually become, my research reveals that education starts from the cradle to whatever amount of longevity we are afforded.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a dramatic change in our method of teaching and learning, especially for the students in elementary and high school — even some in college. Of course, this was not the first time students have experienced online learning. Many have received BAs and MAs online, but because of the COVID-19 virus, which caused serious illnesses and death, we were forced to conduct all learning and other daily activities via Zoom.

learningWe never thought it would last as long as it has. At first, we were grateful to have Zoom because we figured online classes were better than no classes at all. But, after almost 18 months, I realize how important in-person learning, one-on-one teaching really is for everyone involved.

Many students have complained about how hard it was for them to learn via Zoom. I can attest to the fact that Zoom has enabled some students to perform in a somewhat glib manner. For example, some students took advantage of the fact that they did not have to get dressed since they were on the computer and could keep on their sleepwear, while others felt they could prepare breakfast, i.e., cereal or bacon and eggs, while attending class.

And then there were some who even took their laptops and got their nails done or set their laptops in the passenger seat as they drove around to…God only knows where. Yet, I have to admit there were some students who realized the value in continuing their education despite the pandemic. They were the ones who never missed my class, turned in all the assignments, and aspired to do their very best. Those were the students who were determined to excel.

I teach Playwriting, Writing For TV, and Screen Writing. All require knowledge of basic English. Each course consists of learning how to write legible and, perhaps, producible scripts. Their final exam in each of these courses is a script. Many of my students are fresh out of high school.

My question is, how did they get into my class without knowing the eight parts of speech, basic grammar, and punctuation? We can not blame Zoom or COVID-19, and I dare not blame modern technology.

Should we revert back to the old method of teaching our young children how to read and write? It seemed to work much better. Maybe I should have titled this article, Old School Versus New School Teaching. Let’s talk about that!

Opinion by Christine Houston
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Featured and Top Image by Allison Shelley for EDUimages Courtesy of Alliance for Excellent Education’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of SAC State’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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