Distance Learning

Many students were involuntarily introduced to distance learning this year.


Curt Brooks, Staff Writer

It’s circa 2021, when many people still enjoy being in the presence of others. But the new norm is to learn through monitors, and the only time you get to be in the classroom now is for labs and a few practicum classes. 

Then what about the people who are strictly online and have to get to know each other and their professors through Zoom?

It all began in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when a lot of classes were in person and were forced to make a sudden change to online. There’s something about being online that can make it harder for the student who is used to on-campus classes. It’s just different and comes with its own challenges.

There comes the temptation of procrastination, which is intensified with everyone being in their own home instead of a classroom where it’s frowned upon to use your cell or have a TV show on in the background. It’s so easy to be distracted in your own home as opposed to a classroom, where you are in a room with people with similar aspirations and motivations. What does it take to survive the online experience when it wasn’t your choice to be online?

“Online learning is completely driven on your own willpower because of how comfortable you are being in your own environment, but once you apply it to your routine, the benefits are easy to see,” said Ian Olivas, an audio production major at Grossmont.

What are the benefits? Well, you don’t have to leave your house for a quality learning experience. You get to make your schedule around your school life much easier to the point where some students will be at work while listening to a class. You are given much more free time to work on your assignments making classes go by faster. 

It’s important to remember why we do this. The need for distance learning has played an integral part in continuing education in a world where we couldn’t be within six feet of each other, but life also needs a way to move forward.

There are also those who were always online learners. They have thrived in this environment where they can learn through a monitor rather than to go to campus. This has also given those same people the opportunity to go to lectures from the comforts of their own home, allowing more people the ability to go to classes they may not have been comfortable with pre-pandemic. 

While this isn’t a permanent change to how many students attend college, it has built some new skills in students. Many students have broken out of their comfort zones to try new things, even if they learned distance education just isn’t for everyone.