Because I have attended the Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology since 2014, I was one of the “guinea pigs” that experienced eClass days for the first time in September 2014. The conflicting middle school bus schedules and early release days made it easier, in theory, for GSMST students to complete their work from home. The amount of work that was dumped on us was outrageous! I spent the entire day at my desk, watching the sun rise and set outside my window as I completed assignments, projects, and even labs! Although that experience caused immediate dread whenever the words digital learning day were uttered, I still appreciate certain aspects of these online class days.
The workload for the recent digital learning days was underwhelming and quite beneficial for the next weeks of school. The icy weather that pushed back my Advanced Calculus test left with a sunnier attitude as I was able to take the time to obtain a better understanding of the complicated concepts. Furthermore, I was able to watch assigned videos at my own pace and rewind as many times as I desired. I loved the freedom I had in choosing the pace at which I learned. Although this independence was appreciated, I may have taken that for granted when my 30-minute breaks turned into two-hour sessions on Netflix. On the other hand, if I decided to start my assignments at 12 in the morning, I was free to do so. This left me with more free time the next day that wouldn’t leave me feeling guilty.
Additionally, I feel more comfortable learning from home. I am not forced to push down my nervousness as I present in front of my classmates; I can simply type my thoughts and ideas onto the discussion boards. Although this is a huge benefit of digital learning days, I still prefer the traditional classroom learning environment. It’s depressing watching the world go about outside my window as I sit at my laptop all day. Also, it’s important that I do go to school and force myself to participate in class otherwise I wouldn’t be able to work on my public speaking.
While online class may be a great break from waking up at 5 a.m. every morning, I can’t imagine myself doing it every day.