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Hybrid Learning: A Return to Normality by Violet Negrette

Photo by Saavri Biswal

The moment we have all anticipated has finally arrived: hybrid has begun. While the prospect of in-person learning is both different and exciting, some students are left to wonder whether or not hybrid is better than the full remote experience. Remote learning allows students to schedule meetings with teachers very easily, while in-person meetings are more difficult to schedule, and students don’t have to wake up as early for remote school.

While there are reasons to prefer fully remote, we still listened to lectures for hours on end on our computers, without the comfort of other people. Our peers used to provide humor and fun, and without them, school days tended to seem tedious. We remained seated at our chairs for hours on end, all with very little excitement. We were zombies on the screen with no life as the days melded together, repeating the same process over and over again. Now, we have the option to recall even a piece of what school days were normally like, albeit masked, distanced, and missing half of our classmates, as we can choose hybrid over fully remote.

With our current pandemic situation, students often feel a general lack of motivation that people are starting to feel as a result of the isolation from other loved ones.

Being fully remote had a myriad of negative effects on students, most of which have revolved around stress of not only school, but life in general. While our homework load for one class may be considerably light, we still have three other classes to balance into the mix for that day. The pressure of completing all the assignments correctly and efficiently can seem daunting and stressful, especially when students are home all day long. Completing assignments at home poses several problems, such as the distractions right next to you, like technology, pets, food, etc. With our current pandemic situation, students often feel a general lack of motivation that people are starting to feel as a result of the isolation from other loved ones. But with hybrid, we are with our friends and our teachers and are able to reunite and enjoy their company.

Hybrid was created in order for students to be able to interact with their peers and teachers, some of whom they had not seen in over five months. And even though we must remain socially distanced, things can begin to feel slightly normal, and we can enjoy the presence of our friends. Learning through Zoom has brought several problems to the learning system, causing classes to be more stressful. At school, we feel the presence of other people and classes become less stressful. With hybrid, we are not required to unmute ourselves in order to speak or ask questions; instead, we can simply raise our hands. Classes also tend to have a more natural feel.

Students perform a lab in Biology. Photo by Ahnika Mangalick

Not only is hybrid preferred when it comes to collaborating with people, but it also alleviates the stress of Internet issues, since we constantly rely on our Internet when we are fully remote; we are at the mercy of our internet, and it is beyond our control. In hybrid, if the internet ceases to work properly, we can simply notify the teacher or the students sitting around us and continue to work. As we can see, this eliminates extra stress placed upon students.

On top of that, when we are remote, distractions are always present (it usually tends to be our phones). A world of social media and texting lays right next to us as we log on to Zoom. If the meeting ever proves to be boring or mundane, we have the opportunity to text our friends or check social media, so we often become distracted or lose track of what’s going on in our class. With hybrid learning, students cannot access their phones whenever they wish to, removing the majority of distraction present in the fully remote world.

So far, the effects of hybrid have been positive on students, seeing as they enjoy being able to communicate in person with some of their friends, and participate in class without everyday distractions and internet issues.

Poll of Pinewood students on what they found most valuable about hybrid learning