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The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

Online school: Is it right for you?

A deeper understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of online learning.
After an intensive six-hour day of pre-professional ballet training, Delaine Tyler, 12, studies independently as a part of the online school program.
Delaine Tyler
After an intensive six-hour day of pre-professional ballet training, Delaine Tyler, 12, studies independently as a part of the online school program.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, online school was an alternative to in-person learning.

According to IIana Hamilton, “75% of all high school students in the U.S.  [over 14 million learners] took online classes in fall 2020 as the pandemic restricted in-person learning, whereas only 36% had enrolled in online education in fall 2019.”  (The Rise Of Online Learning In The U.S.)

Lots of people went back to in-person learning after COVID-19 ended, but some decided it was best to stay online. 

Online school presents multiple challenges for students, such as finding the motivation to work. Kate Pruess, a counselor at Liberty High School, has noticed where online school may become a hardship. 

“It can be hard that online school takes a lot of self-motivation and holding yourself accountable, and that can be hard at any age but especially as a high schooler,” Pruess said. 

Staying on top of work can be difficult, especially when you have an extra activity that blends with your schedule. 

“Some of our students are really involved in dance, but they’re still able to commit themselves heavily to their dance schedule and are also able to balance academics,” Pruess states. 

Delaine Tyler, 12, dances at DeCruz Ballet in San Antonio, Texas, and does asynchronous online school through ICCSD. 

“It is extremely hard to stay motivated because I do all my school at night so I’m already tired because of dance and to think about doing two more hours of school is really hard for me,” Tyler said. 

Tyler finds that it can be difficult when you have many distractions at home. Tyler finds a way to avoid this by surrounding herself with her friends. 

“Some of my friends and I like to go to a coffee shop and do our school work there because we all keep each other motivated because we’re all in the same situation,” Tyler states. 

Although Tyler has made friends at DeCruz Ballet, she misses the social aspect of being in school. 

“I for sure think it affects my social life. Having dance helps me stay social but I do miss Liberty and the social aspect of it,” Tyler said. 

For some kids who aren’t in the same online situation as Tyler, being social can be hard and could affect mental health. 

According to an article by Ada Wood and Lauren Mascarenhas titled, “Virtual school can be damaging to children’s mental health,” parents have reported that their children are more likely to not engage in physical activity, to spend less time outside and to spend less time with their friends when learning online. 

Some children may struggle with being social because of online school, but others may enjoy being alone. Being in an in-person school, around lots of people, may affect kids’ mental health more than being in their own space. 

Although online school does have its disadvantages, there are many advantages that come along with it as well. Online school allows students to be self-paced. Some students can work ahead and finish their lesson plan faster, others can follow the regular work amount. 

”I like online school in the sense that you can do so much more stuff with your day, I can’t sleep in because of dance but I know plenty of people who get extra sleep because of the flexibility of online school,” Tyler said. 

For students that do in-person school, there’s more of a structure, whereas online you choose what time to work, so it can be easier to procrastinate. 

According to ECPI University, online school is less stressful because of the flexibility the program offers. This can allow students to stay on topic without having the worry of falling behind. 

“Online school is less stressful for me because I can take my time on assignments, quizzes and tests. When I’m in in-person school all of the students can be overwhelming and distracting when you’re trying to focus, but in online school, I can be more comfortable in my own space,” Tyler said. 

Being at home can be an excellent opportunity to focus on yourself and your schoolwork without distractions. 

Success can be found through online school for many students with varying learning styles, situations and backgrounds. 

“Online school fits a diverse learning group, if a student has a really busy schedule outside of school 

because of college classes or they’re in a travel sport it can be really helpful to have that flexibility. Online school can be great for students who have lots of motivation and are able to stay focused,” Pruess states.

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About the Contributor
Hadley Andersen
Hadley Andersen, Reporter
Hadley is a sophomore at Liberty and this is her first year on the Liberty Live Wire Staff. Most of her time outside of school is spent training as an equestrian, when she is not at her barn she enjoys spending time with family, reading, and watching movies.