Online Teaching: Pass or Fail?


John Sohel

Classrooms look empty as Mansfield ISD transitions to distance learning.

Nour Karajeh, ENN staff

At the start of a new decade, things like World War III rumors and the start of a worldwide pandemic seeped their way into our discussions. Due to the Coronavirus, citizens have had to quarantine themselves and schools began to shut down. With schools closing, the idea of distance learning came into the equation.

With an increase of online learning, both students and teachers are having to depend on technology even more. With apps like Canvas, Google Classroom, and Microsoft Teams, teachers are keeping up with their lessons and making sure their students have access to the material. AP World History teacher, Jennifer Swegler, believes there are some good things that come along with distance learning.

“I think it challenges us as teachers to learn like we ask our students to learn. It is opening new doors to new tools, and there’s been a real sense of collaboration among teachers,” stated Swegler.

Although the students have access to technology, some teachers believe that working from home has its downsides as well. With quarantine happening, being at home has given a lot of people some free time. English teacher, Cody Weiss, believes that there are quite a few disadvantages for both students and adults when it comes to online learning. Weiss admits that while there are a few disadvantages to at-home work, it is important to maintain a good routine

“The allure of free time. Sometimes it’s harder to work at home because you have access to food, TV, games, any source of entertainment, even cleaning, to get away from your work. This is true for adults, too. I recommend juggling work and play. Work for 2 hours, play for 1, work for 1 hour, play for 30, et cetera. It’s unrealistic to expect that you can work for 8 complete, uninterrupted hours at home,” stated Weiss.

For the Mansfield Independent School District, spring break was extended after the schools shut down. Most teachers were already prepared for their post spring break lessons. AP Euro teacher, Brandon Austin, has his students follow the assignments he had in plan before quarantine happened.

“The assignments given are the same assignments we would have been doing in class so in that sense the content is normal. Distance learning makes it hard to connect and connections are where the learning happens. I would say about half my students have already turned in work so they are doing great,” stated Austin.

One worry that remains constant, whether that be online or in a classroom, is the fact that some of students might not be taking their assignments seriously. AP Human Geography teacher, Ashely Hicks, believes that it depends on the students’ work ethic altogether.

“It’s hard to say if the students are willing to take their online assignments seriously. I know some students are still really focused on passing the AP exam, so I think they are taking assignments seriously. We are only a week into online content, so we will see. It really just depends on how dedicated they are to their school work,” stated Hicks.

Due to the Coronavirus, schools have shut down and resorted to using online learning to help keep their students up to date. Nowadays, technology is much more dependable, but technology won’t work, just as with any normal lesson, unless both teachers and students make the effort to be successful.