As the coronavirus takes over, e-learning becomes “new normal”

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Felipe Esquivel Reed

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS particle Computer Generated This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Felipe Esquivel Reed author

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This week marks the first week of Mount Carmel’s e-learning. Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, schools across the world are being shutdown. Some schools might even be cancelled from spring all  the way to summer vacation.

Remote learning is definitely a new process for all of us at Mount Carmel, so I checked in with some students to see what their opinions were on this new form of learning. Sophomore Luke Black has a positive outlook on the whole ordeal.

“I think it is a good thing because you will be educated, but will be learning within the safety of your home.”

Black also believes that student safety should be every school’s top priority.

“Gaining the knowledge we would acquire in a school setting while in quarantine is the best decision we could have made.”

Some Mount Carmel students are worried that students will have to make up class time during the summer. However, junior  Beacom Callahan has a message for those students.

“We are doing school work at home so that we do not have to make up the days at the end of the year.”

While Samnang Smith, also a junior, agrees that remote learning is for the best, he acknowledges that it is an annoying way to learn, and also believes that e-learning “puts many families in vulnerable positions.” He expressed concern for families who might not be able to work because their children are not in schoo,l and as a result “some families are not able to put food on the table if they cannot leave their children at home alone.”

For some MC students, remote learning  has given them an entirely new perspective. Junior Joseph Asta is one of those students.

Asta acknowledges that”e-learning days have been different,” but they have given him an idea of what college might be like.  He added that remote learning “has also granted him a new perspective on time management.”

Junior Matt Neylon thinks the school hiatus is going to last for more than two weeks.

“I think e-learning days are something we will have to get used to, because I don’t see them ending anytime soon.”

Nevertheless, he believes this is a good learning experience.

” We all have to realize that school will not always be a cake walk  and I think that this experience will help us realize that.”

Considering that Governor Pritzker placed Illinois into a shelter in place environment until April 7, it seems as through Neylon might be correct.  Learning online, while not ideal, appears to be our new normal for at least the next few weeks. We would be wise to look for the silver lining and remain hopeful that we will see the inside of Mount Carmel before the end of May.