E-Learning vs. Remote learning: Differences between the two plans


William Kraft

A drawing depicting a satirical fight between e-learning and remote learning

William Kraft, Editor

Ever since March, kids in the Riverside-Brookfield area have been left puzzled in the trying times this virus has left them in. When kids last year heard school was cancelled for a few weeks, they were only thinking about how their spring break got much longer, but then, without any warning, the whole world shut down. Leaving us with a remote learning plan that over time has evolved into something we can use to learn despite not being in the classroom. Though some changes were small, and some a bit larger, there are still vast differences between the plan of action last year, and the one of this year.

Everyone remembers the blissfulness of optional Zoom sessions. Instead of waking up for Zoom classes at 8 o’clock sharp, all you had to do was sign into 7 measly Google surveys as attendance, then roll over and go back to bed until noon. Quite possibly one of the biggest changes from last year consisted of synchronized Zoom meets with teachers’ respective classes following a schedule containing 40 minute time slots per class period, in which students would use Schoology, a teacher/student document and link sharing service, to log onto their planned Zoom meet.

Another major change could also be summed up with the “mandatory/optional” categorization. School work amidst the last few weeks of the 2019-2020 school year could not hurt your grade, however it could very well boost it. It gave reason for people with less than average grades to do more work so they can get their grade higher, however it didn’t motivate the students with already top marks to really do anything. 

The model created for the 2020-2021 school year took much more initiative and required students to do classwork as if they were in class normally. Definitely a big step up from last year!

A multitude of minor changes occurred as well to make the remote learning experience more streamlined. For one thing, teachers are using other platforms to better teach their students in their own ways. Some teachers use Google Meet rather than Zoom. The same can be said for platforms like Google Classroom versus Schoology, as teachers use either one of them to post work for students to complete. 

Gym teachers have also gotten much more ingenious about monitoring workouts since last year, by using a free app to track your running distance and time. As well as enforcing making sure you’re doing activity rather than going back to bed.

Since the sudden shutdown of last year left everyone in the dark, there has been little normalcy that followed in the coming months. Despite that fact, we can’t just stop our learning because of this pandemic. This plan was put into action so we could continue learning all the while being safe. It would be a mistake to take it for granted.