Student Reaction to Online Learning Varies Across Millcreek

Carley Coe, Journalism 1 writer

No student ever thought their 2019-2020 school year would get canceled by a global pandemic, yet that is the heartbreaking reality of every American student right now.

This is the first time any student enrolled in the Millcreek Township School District, located in Erie, Pa, has ever witnessed something like this. Students and teachers went to school on Friday, March 13, with the expectation of returning to class the following Monday. 

That Monday never came. What began as a few days off to deep clean the schools, turned into two weeks off, and eventually, those two weeks turned a migration to online learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Like any normal child would be at first, students were excited to get some days off, everyone could use a break from school. 

No student could’ve ever prepared for the news that the rest of their classes would take place online. Beginning on March 30, it was mandatory for every student, grades K-12 to communicate with their teachers via Google Classroom or Schoology and school Google email accounts. 

In the beginning, students found communicating with their teachers and doing work very optional. However, after the administration realized this they began sending emails to students and sending out phone calls to their parents. 

And while high school students could be expected to know how to log into Google and communicate with their teachers, the work and routines of elementary school students felt very different. 

Clayton Coe, a third-grader at Grandview Elementary School took time to adjust to the online format. 

“It’s normally the reading stuff that is hard cause the words are so blurry; it’s hard to see a screen after looking at it for so long,” Coe said of one struggle he has with online learning. 

Some students feel as though they aren’t getting the best education for them since they are unable to physically see their teachers and interact with their lessons. 

“I prefer normal school because I can see my friends and it’s easier for me to learn there,” Coe said.

On the other hand, freshman Bella-Ann Blackmond has a totally different viewpoint on everything. 

“During quarantine and through online classes, I am taking honors English, honors science,  honors algebra II, and aquatics. Science and math are easier to take online,” Blackmond said. 

She feels that her teachers are giving her and her peers “easier work” to do. That is one reason why she likes online school better. “It’s more freeing. I have the ability to run on my own schedule without others getting in the way.”

Overall, the second half of the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year for Millcreek students is one that’ll never be forgotten and will essentially change the future of education for students. 

“I think it’s going to affect people’s learning, especially for kids my age and younger,” Coe admitted.