What Are Edison Students’ Opinions of Online School? 

What Are Edison Students' Opinions of Online School? 

Taylor Yang, Writer


The 2020-2021 school year was pushed online full time due to the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier in the year. To stay safe, students are forced to stay home to practice distance learning on their devices. Whether it be their personal laptop, or laptops loaned from the school. I interviewed two students attending Edison to get some perspective on students’ opinions of online school. 

The students I interviewed were Juliana Perez and Vincent Vang both 16-year-old juniors here at Edison. When I asked if they liked online school Perez replied with “Yes, because we have more free time, and a break between classes.” In her answer, Perez is referring to our online schedule, she enjoys the odd and even days so that she can get a break from each subject. Despite receiving a positive answer from Perez, Vang had a different opinion. Vang described online school as a double-edged sword, comparing the pros and cons. Ultimately, he said “I personally am a physical learner and with the limitations that virtual learning brings, the ability to truly bring out the performance of students is being held back.  

My second question asks if there could be any improvements on online school. Perez thought the online school system is functioning just fine. However, Vang was a little bit more elaborate in his answer, recognizing that everyone’s home situation is different. He believes that limitations are inevitable when it comes to online work since “We cannot simply hand out such resources like printers, laptops, and a stable internet connection to all students.  

When asked if they would feel safe to go back to school when campuses begin to open, they had similar responses. Both students had said they would not feel safe if the school does not take proper safety precautions in sanitizing and keeping all areas clean. Owe to the fact that when schools open for students to attend, there is no guarantee that every single student will follow the health precautions to stay safe, even if they are heavily enforced. Just one person could infect so many others if they are not being cautious and mindful 

Another question I proposed during the interview was if they felt it was easier or more difficult to connect with new classmates. As expected, both students said that it was more difficult to connect with their fellow classmates. Vang said, “Many students are self-conscious of themselves and choose not to show themselves on camera sometimes, and that really dissolves the entire point of working and collaborating as a class and group. Perez had also mentioned that most people were uncomfortable and awkward online. Which brings right into my next question for them. Did they think students should be required to turn on their camera? Surprisingly, their answers were split. Vang thought that students should not be required to turn on their camera even though he would prefer it. His reasoning was that a student may not be in a quiet place by themselves so they would want to keep their camera off to prevent distraction or they may simply want to remain unseen. Perez on the other hand thought that cameras should be required to be on to help improve participation and onscreen comfortability. 

The last and final question that I asked the two students was, if a vaccine were discovered for COVID-19 and there was no possibility of catching the virus, given the choicewould they prefer to go back to school on campus or stay online. Perez was split on the question. She favored the online schedule but misses seeing her friends every dayHaving said that, Vang had very strong feelings toward going back to school on campus, declaring “I would need to go back to physical school in order to maintain my sanity.” Six months of quarantine has taken its toll mentally on him. He is clear in his opinion, physical school is the way to go. That way students can connect with each other face to face and no longer see letters on screen or rely on emails to contact teachers.