LPCSC offers distance learning
Due to COVID-19 this year, LaPorte Community School Corporation gave students the options of in school or online learning in hopes of easing the minds of concerned students, staff, and families.
Because of the pandemic, around 60 percent of students chose to go back in person, but many decided it was best to stay at home and continue their education virtually. LPHS students who chose distance will be at home for the entire semester and can reevaluate for second semester.
Many LPHS teachers are strictly virtual teachers, Zooming and Looming all day with their virtual students. However, in order to offer more courses to the option 2 students, a large number of in-person LPHS staff members are teaching both hybrid and virtual classes.
Distance learning has many ups and downs. Some positives are that it helps prevent the spread of the virus and that students are still getting the education they need; however, not being able to see a teacher in person and getting to ask questions right away is something that the students have to adjust to.
“In some ways it can take longer for things because I have to wait to talk to them and can’t ask a question right then and there and get an immediate response,” Maxwell Unger, sophomore at LaPorte High School, said.
Although some students chose online learning, many of them prefer in-person teaching more.
“I much prefer in-person learning. It fosters much more meaningful connections between teachers and classmates,” Jillian Maudlin, senior at LaPorte High School, said.
Not only did students have to adjust to not seeing their teachers and classmates everyday, but they had to adjust to a new learning schedule. Many teachers are doing Zoom calls so that students can ask questions if needed. Instead of giving a couple of days to do the work like in the spring, a majority of it is due that night.
Doing work online isn’t as difficult as it may seem. It takes about the same time as students would get in class to complete all of their work, and overall the timing is similar to a normal school day.
Not only are students having to adjust, but so are the teachers. Many of the teachers have to change their way of teaching so that it can accommodate both in-person and virtual students. Several of them have to record their classes so that they can publish their lectures, and they have to spend more time working so that they can make sure all their students are understanding the material that’s being taught.
“It’s hard to get a connection with the kids with a distance like this, and the technology doesn’t always work like you would expect it to,” Brenda Cooper, LaPorte High School English teacher, said.
There obviously are kinks to work out to ensure that distance learning is equitable to in person, but LPHS students and staff are committed to putting in the work.