To Be In School Or Not? That Is The Question.

Bridget Liu and Porter Hollern

Would you rather have

school in your pajamas, lay in bed all day, or get dressed, see your friends, and be in person? With Covid-19, schools have been different than previous years. Schools have had to adapt to the circumstances, and this has meant that many schools are conducting learning virtually, while others also offer an in-person learning experience. At BF, we have two different options for students to attend school. Kids can attend classes online, via Google Meets and Zooms, or take a hybrid option that allows kids to experience some in-person learning. To find the answer to which way of learning kids prefer, we conducted a poll along with questions about student experiences in hybrid and virtual learning. The results were clear, out of 94 eighth graders at BF who responded, 78.5% preferred in person.


There are many reasons for this result. One of them is because kids like to be with their friends. After a survey with 94 kids, a large majority said they like to be with their friends. If you are in person you can be with friends and more connected to others. While online you are by yourself in a room looking at your computer screen. The only social interaction for online school is when you are working on a project and are in break out rooms. That is why kids like in person classes better than online classes.


In addition, 78.3 percent of kids chose in person better than online is because you can learn more in a distraction free environment. Kids can learn much better than online kids because there are no distractions. There will be no TV going off at home or loud noises in the background. Kids in school will be in a quiet classroom with nothing to distract them. Online kids also have their phone right next to them. Their phone can cause them to be disconnected from the lesson and lead to failing grades. This sentiment was shared by many in person students, with the majority of them reporting that they were more engaged during in person class.


Many said that when they were virtual, they had trouble with motivation and paying attention, but when they were in person, they were able to learn in a learning environment with less distractions, and they were able to learn more when in person. As one student put it, “What I like about the in person learning is that I feel more motivated in school more than I do when I am virtual and there is no distraction.” Another student said, “When I am in person I feel just much more happy. I also feel MUCH more engaged while in person compared to at home. There are less distractions, and it feels like a learning environment, as it should be.” That is the second reason why kids prefer in person classes better than online classes. 


Furthermore, kids prefer in person learning because it gives them the opportunity to interact with people face to face. A top reason for preferring in person school for many kids was something along the lines of, “I feel more connected to people and can see my friends.” After spending much of the past year in lockdown doing remote learning and unable to see people, many kids are happy that there is a hybrid option so that they can see people again and be able to talk to teachers and classmates face to face. One student explained, “I love being in person in school because I think it is an experience all students should experience. Where you talk to your friends, teachers, and learn in a good working environment which we are lucky to have.” This emphasizes the feeling shared by many of wanting to interact with people face to face, instead of through screens. For many, it makes the school experience more enjoyable and brings back a sense of normalcy.


However, it was not entirely one sided. 21.5% of respondents said they preferred online school. The most common reasons were being able to sleep in later because they did not have to get ready or catch a bus, being able to go at their own pace and take breaks when done with work, and enjoying being able to do work from the comfort of their homes. 


For students learning virtually, they are able to wake up much later than if they were going to school in person, since they do not have to physically travel there. This means that the students can get more sleep. Also, when kids are doing work from home, they have more freedom such as choosing their work environment and going outside, as well as being able to take breaks when done with work. Finally, kids enjoyed being in their home environment, and found it less stressful, and liked that they could be comfortable.


After all of the data collected, the conclusion that has been discovered is more kids like in person classes more. The reason for this is because kids feel more comfortable in person, and like being with their friends. These reasons were popular to why kids chose in person school better. Another collected piece of data was that people like the norm. Many responses said that they are just used to in person school, and like it more. So now we can truly answer the question, do kids like in person or online days better for school.