Its Not All Bad On Zoom: The benefits of online learning


Zoe Klein and Beck Williams

As fingers hit keys and faces light up, students yawn widely and rub their eyes for their first online class of the day. Suddenly, disaster strikes one person can’t get in, and another person’s voice is choppy every time they unmute their microphone to speak. The teacher smiles and begins a sentence: “Don’t forget to…” And the WiFi goes out. It’s anticlimactic, really. However, looking past the technological nightmares and feelings of isolation associated with online school, there are some benefits. From more time allotted for learning to customizable learning spaces, online learning has some strengths that traditional school lacks.

The benefits start at the beginning of the day. Rather than commuting across the city, we’re commuting across our bedrooms each morning. The decrease in time on the road means that we have more time to relax do homework, socialize with our families and even make a healthy breakfast. It also means that air pollution has decreased, and our days start without the stress of traffic, car problems, or running late. 

Speaking of stress, online learning from home means that some of the discomfort that comes with being in a more crowded and chaotic space can be avoided. Because we’re able to customize our spaces for comfort and decrease volume as needed, unnecessary psychological stress can be avoided with the click of a button. We’re able to spend time learning but in the comfort of our own rooms, without the glaring white lights, ceiling leaks, and tiny classroom desks.

Because of this increased flexibility in workspaces, some students are able to be more productive as well. Instead of molding our learning styles to fit the classroom, we can build our at home classrooms around our individual educational needs. Without the hustle and bustle of going from classroom to classroom all day every day, we instead get to optimize our environments to help us learn as best as possible. This can involve anything from adjusting the thermostat to keeping photos of loved ones in workspaces to using a cushioned seat instead of the rigid plastic chairs students use at school.

Another benefit of working in your own room is the connection that parents can have with the material being taught to their children. None of us like to have someone looking over our shoulder while we try to learn, but having someone at home who is capable of supporting you in your work and can help you understand what you are learning more clearly can be very useful. If nothing else, it gives us something to talk about at the dinner table.

By now, we are all sick and tired of the pandemic and being trapped in our homes with no end in sight. But, as with all things, there is a silver lining. We can continue to focus on the gloom and despair of current events, or we can try to see the good in it all. Nothing compares to a true, in-person education, but it’s not all bad over Zoom.