By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
A new kind of classroom
Little girl - favorite.jpg
Irving College sixth-grader Rylan Corley says online classes have been educational, but not nearly as effective as classroom learning.

Students are learning a new norm of education as schools are closed through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Rylan Corley, 12, is a sixth-grader at Irving College School who has been conducting her studies online since Warren County schools closed March 13. She has attended Irving College since preschool.

“The online programs have made it a bit harder for me because I feel I can’t learn as much through virtual education as I could in the classroom where I can ask questions and get help from my teachers if I need to,” says Rylan. 

In a previous interview with the Southern Standard, Director of Schools Bobby Cox stated online instruction will continue for the rest of this school year. For students who don’t have internet access at home, Cox said school officials will begin distributing hard-copy educational packets to students in May now that social distancing guidelines have been relaxed. 

“I feel like going back to school next year will be harder because students may be further behind if not understanding what is being taught online,” says Rylan. “I’m not afraid my grades will go down this current year, but I’m worried they could go down the following year if I don’t fully comprehend the way everything is being taught at this time. It definitely makes me more aware of the importance of doing everything possible to learn and take in all I can right now.” 

Corley’s favorite subjects are ELA, or English Language Arts, and science. She was able to perform experiments in the school’s science lab and is now unable to do so with the closures.

“It’s more difficult because there’s no visual or hands-on education available and that’s how I learn best,” says Rylan. “I interact with my teachers through e-mail. Some of the teachers will send us videos while others don’t. We use Google Classroom and BrainPop a lot.”

BrainPop is a website where instructional videos are given on several subjects, quizzes are available and information is provided to students who are participating.

“When using these virtual programs, you’re unable to raise your hand and ask questions if something isn’t understood,” says Rylan. “At school, you have your teachers and classmates to interact with, but with BrainPop, you just watch videos and take online quizzes.”

Although the educational aspect of schooling is of utmost importance, students are lacking the availability to develop and continue healthy social skills acquired through interactions with one another during the school shutdown.

“My favorite part of school is seeing and being with my friends and I haven’t been able to do so in a long time,” says Rylan. “Seeing all of my friends, fellow students and teachers is something I really miss. Since my school is so small, everyone knows one another. It’s been really hard not being able to interact with everyone, including my teachers.”