As our school transitions further into an online-based curriculum, some students and staff feel left behind. San Leandro High has progressively gotten more and more dependent on the Internet to educate its students. This choice has had its pitfalls. One downside of a more technology based curriculum is that it assumes that our students have that same technology at home to complete assignments. The COVID pandemic was a huge factor in this as well.
“It made my life hell last year,” said junior Arty Hanna. “Not everyone can afford flawless internet… I can’t.”
Having to deal with WiFi troubles all throughout 2020, Hanna experienced a drop in his grades and overall outlook on school during that time.
An emphasis on online schooling hasn’t only affected our students, however. Social Studies teacher Ms. Emily Pigott has also expressed frustration with the change.
“We have online textbooks that I’d love to use more but not everyone brings a Chromebook every day. If they do it’s not fully charged,” said Ms. Pigott. “I kind of went back to physical textbooks.”
Not having the proper resources for online learning has proved to be difficult for many students. Not only that, it seems that some students with good internet access are apprehensive to the change.
Students said that schoolwork is not the only area where students are feeling the pressure to be online. When asked if she ever feels pressured to be more online than she would naturally, SLAM Junior Alliyah Crowell responded with a resounding yes.
“If you’re not on the internet, you don’t know what’s going on. I don’t really want Instagram,” Crowell goes on to say. She mainly uses the app now for academic reasons. “But if I don’t have it, I can’t communicate with friends, learn about school events, et cetera.”
Using newer technology at San Leandro High has had some positive effects too, however. That becomes very apparent when you take into account the recent pandemic.
“Overall, they do a good job,” said Crowell about our school supporting students technologically. “Pretty much everyone has a Chromebook; they give you the WiFi password now.”
Ms. Pigott shared the same sentiment. “We did our best to get Chromebooks out fast back in March 2020.”
Arty Hanna offered some solutions to issues the school has surrounding online learning.
“I think the way to improve is by monitoring the people with technology issues and helping them with those issues. If someone misses a class [online or otherwise], they should either be excused — with proof of understanding the subject — or be given a chance to make up the work.”