Can You Teach the World in an Online Video?


Maryn Sylvester, Author

For the past year and a half, we have turned over a new leaf by attending school virtually. Covid 19 has really changed the way everyone did things all the time. If you went to school, your bed was now your desk. If you had an office job, your living room became your office. For the most part, everyone had somehow made a part of their home into something they’ve never expected it to be. 

One thing that seemed to really go downhill was putting an effort into anything and everything. Doing the job as fast as possible and not really caring if anything was correct was something that was becoming more common. It seemed as though many people did not have the strength or the capability to do their work to the “best of their ability” anymore. 

Getting a C on a test was now a new normal or not meeting a deadline on a really important presentation for your boss was normal. You could use a certain excuse that would always get you out of trouble because not a single soul would know if it was true. You could tell whoever was in charge that your Wifi was out and that was that. You had a day for yourself free of work. After a while people became curious. A big question that was tossed around was, how could you teach the world in an online video? 

For students across America, this question was a hard one to answer. Teachers everywhere tried their best to give students the proper education they needed and deserved. They made PowerPoints for lessons, created google meets, recorded videos, made up assignments so students would actually have to complete the assignment and not cheat, and so much more. 

This was helpful in some ways because students had the information they needed at hand and could always go back to the video and be reminded of what that day’s lecture was about. In most cases, the students were affected negatively in all of this. Without being in a classroom many things could go wrong. Many students do not have teachers as parents to ask questions if they do not understand.

If you didn’t understand the work you were given, nine times out of ten you would stop doing it. It was hard for students to speak up during online classes because they might be embarrassed for asking a question. You couldn’t pull your teacher aside privately and ask your questions at the end of class, or have them explain the lesson again one-on-one. You either asked in front of everyone or not at all. Students could always email their teachers, but it’s not the most reliable option. Teachers sometimes took as long as a week to respond to an email. They had just as much on their plate as the students, so it took a while for a response and by that time, you’ve probably moved on to a brand new lesson by then. 

Although most students had the opportunity of having Google meets or Zoom classes with their teachers, something always had to go wrong. Whether it be the Wifi being out, the student’s electronic devices broke or went dead, students logging on, but walking away from their computer, or students just not showing up to class without any excuses. A teacher could have a class of twenty-three students and sometimes they would be lucky if even five students showed up to class. When that happens, it’s hard for teachers to teach when so many students couldn’t care enough to show up to class. By not showing up they’re not able to obtain the proper information needed for that class to do their assignments. A lot of the time the teacher would wait until the next day to teach the lesson, in hopes of more students attending class. For the students who did show, this gave them the opportunity for one-on-one time with the teacher to go over whatever they needed help with on that lesson.

By having to learn in a virtual world a lot of things began to change. We can start with our grades. A lot of students’ grades began to drop. It was very hard to learn in this virtual society. I get it we are good with technology, but sitting in front of a computer screen all day was not cutting it for a lot of students. Daily routines were ruined during this time. Say a student felt like sleeping in an extra hour and missed an important class, but all that mattered at that moment was sleeping in because they stayed up until two in the morning the night before. By doing this, they’ve realized they didn’t know how to do the assignment posted for that day. Since it was an assignment made by the teacher, they couldn’t find it online anywhere. Then the student goes to option two, asking their friends. Their friends did the same exact thing they did and they do not have the assignment either. Since they can’t get the answers easily they either do the whole assignment wrong or they just don’t do the assignment at all. This happened assignment after assignment and before we knew it, students’ grades were dropping dangerously low. Students would try to cram all 9 weeks into one weekend, just to get some kind of grade.

Now, this wasn’t the case for every single student. The big issue here was the toll this was taking on students’ mental health. Being trapped in the same room eight hours straight, five days a week could make anyone go crazy. Not being able to socialize, be with friends, or get out of the house has caused many problems among many students. There was just a lack of motivation all around. It didn’t even matter if going to school was their favorite thing, school soon became something they hated most and was ready for it to be over with.

But now to answer the big question, can you teach the world in an online video? If everyone did what they were supposed to do then yes, but it is in fact better to teach the world in a proper learning environment such as a classroom. With most students being back in the classroom this year, you can already see the changes being made within students’ academics and grades. Hopefully, we will be able to keep students in the classroom from now on and avoid staying at home for virtual learning.

Take care of yourself Canes! Stay safe and healthy!