Virtual Learning Vs. Hybrid Learning


Diana Lanza, News & Features Editor

Within the past year, the world has changed drastically, and every single person has been forced to change their daily lives in various different ways in order to adjust to the new normal. One of the many aspects that has undergone great changes throughout this time period is our education system, and students all across the globe are trying to figure out how to cope with the new circumstances that challenge their learning experiences. Not only has the COVID-19 outbreak threatened and unfortunately taken the lives of millions, but it has caused a widespread panic, and in order to take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of the virus, businesses and schools must follow specific guidelines. As a result of the social distancing order put in place, schools all over the world have come up with two plans of action for until the pandemic is under control. 

One of the temporary solutions is known as “hybrid learning”. The point of this plan is to allow students to continue learning in a mainly traditional fashion, but with different schedules and time periods applied so that the school will only have a limited number of children in class at a time. For example, schools may only operate on a shortened day schedule, and allow certain classes or sections to come into school on specific days of the week. On the days that a group children are not permitted to enter the building, they will be sitting through an online class, usually via Zoom or Google Meet, and continue their studies from home, while the other students that had not gone into school previously learn in the classroom. 

The other method that schools are using at this time is known as “virtual learning”. This idea promotes an entirely new way of learning for students, in which they are doing school online throughout the entire week. Depending on the decision of a specific school, some students may be expected to stay on their Google Meet or Zoom for an entire day, or they may also follow a shortened schedule. Many schools across the world have been forced to switch from a hybrid learning experience to a fully virtual one, as a result of a spike in cases. 

Across the world, students are divided between whether they prefer virtual learning or hybrid learning, and almost everyone has different opinions. Some students who prefer hybrid learning as opposed to all virtual learning have a hectic home life, especially those with larger families, and claim that it is much more difficult to focus on what they are learning at home than it would be in school. On the other hand, some students claim that they are not fully comfortable with the idea of going into physical school in the midst of the pandemic, and feel much more comfortable staying at home. In order to provide a direct quote from a student, Karra Lavden, a junior at Freehold Township High School, had this to say when asked about her preference between either of the temporary COVID-19 influenced learning solutions, “I would prefer to be in school learning as I know I learn and pay attention better when I am in that school atmosphere. When I am home it is much easier to get distracted by things around me, that I would not have if I was in school.” 

In conclusion, it is obvious that, as a result of our unfortunate current situation, humans all over the world have been forced to adapt to a new way of living in order to make a necessary effort to protect the safety of themselves and others. The education system has been one of the most drastically affected aspects of the lives of many, and because the pandemic is still such a new problem, it is unlikely that we will ever be able to get a definite answer as to what is the right way to handle the crisis at this point. What do you think is the right way to go about continuing to learn, while history is unfolding right before our eyes?