What are the benefits and disadvantages of in-person learning and distance learning to students?

By: Grace BLumer-Lamotte

Image taken from: https://www.connectionsacademy.com/support/

Both forms of learning have their advantages and their disadvantages.

Let’s look into the advantages of in-person schooling. In-person learning can help students gain support by forming stronger connections. According to Kipp Texas Public Schools, “Studies show that socializing and developing friendships helps children learn more about themselves, helps them build empathy, and form lasting relationships with peers.” This article was posted on August 17th, 2021, well into the COVID pandemic and schools using distance learning. It also states, “The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a statement earlier this summer highlighting the importance of in-person connection for the development of children.”

Another benefit is that in-person learning can create stronger academic experiences for students. With distance learning, it is difficult for students to focus on their monitor or screen. They most-likely have other distractions going on around the home. When you are in-person you can gain the stronger academic skills that you wouldn’t be able to have access to when in distance learning.

The last benefit of in-person learning is that it improves the students’ mental health. Again, according to Kipp Texas Public Schools, “While authentic connection is a huge component of mental health for children, there are a few other aspects that come into play—specifically ones that children can find much easier with in-person learning and interactions.” Personally, when I was experiencing distance learning, it was difficult for me to focus. It was also difficult for my mental health with the excessive workload that the teachers gave me.

A couple of disadvantages of in-person learning is that there is less flexibility and health risks. Less-flexibility plays a big role in determining if you would prefer in-person school to distance learning. The less-flexibility aspect is not being able to get up and use the bathroom or eat food whenever you please. In school you are given a set schedule. The health risks when you go to in-person learning is having the risk of getting COVID-19.

A benefit of distance learning is the flexibility given. The flexibility is being able to use the bathroom when you need to, eating, and having a less “non-set” schedule. Being able to access and use these accommodations, given by distance learning, is a huge benefit to a student’s mental health. 

Another benefit of distance learning is it eliminates the hassle of getting kids to schools. Some student’s families do not have access to a form of transportation. That makes them rely on bussing to and from school. The district this year, 2021-2022, has been overwhelmed with trying to find buses and drivers for students to get to and from school. When students went to distance learning, it was a huge sigh of relief to bus companies and the district regarding transportation needs.

A couple disadvantages of distance learning is the lack of physical and social interaction and difficulty staying motivated. Throughout the whole pandemic, people have struggled with interaction with friends and family.

When the pandemic was first starting, the CDC was reiterating that we should leave our houses only for essential needs. Therefore draining people of physical and social interaction. Most students that I have talked to go to school to see their friends that they can’t see outside of school. Of course, there are other reasons they go, but that was the main reason.

It was also difficult to stay motivated throughout distance learning. You would have pretty much the same set schedule for weeks upon weeks. For students, that can be very repetitive and unmotivating. 

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