Fre’e’-learning: the liberating effects of remote education

Senior Ryan McGovern e-learned from his house in Wisconsin earlier this year. The new schedule and online classes allowed for more relaxation time by the lake. (Photo courtesy Ryan McGovern)

By Siveen McCarthy, Features Writer

Although downsides of e-learning such as lack of engagement and technological struggles are evident, students at Maine South have come to recognize some positives that go along with remote learning. Whether it be e-learning from on vacation, going out to lunch during the school day, or changes in sleep schedule, students have unexpectedly been granted new freedoms. 

Senior Ryan McGovern has taken advantage of the new flexibility of remote learning by changing his scenery.

“E-learning has given me the ability to do school work from my lake house in Wisconsin,” McGovern said. 

Online classes allow for people like senior Carissa Harty to pick up class from anywhere and reap the benefits of doing so.

“I’ve been able to stay at my place in Florida and still go to class,” Harty said. “My mom partly works in Florida, so I’m able to spend more time with her.” 

Sophomore Grace Duerkop also e-learns from Wisconsin and recognizes the freedom of being somewhere other than her home for school. 

“It’s refreshing and makes at-home learning more interesting,” Duerkop said. 

While some students are taking advantage of “distance learning,” there are still other benefits to remote learning.

“I have done my classes on the road as I visit colleges,” senior Gretchen Brown said. “It [e-learning] gives me more time to work on my college essays. It’s really flexible and has worked out to my advantage.”

Junior Chloe Migon credits e-learning to her increase in productivity.

“My opportunities have opened up because I am on my own time and get things done quickly,” Migon said.

Another benefit to e-learning is the ability to get lunch in town, which is no longer prohibited, since students are already at home.

“During my off periods, I sometimes get lunch with friends that also have that period off,” McGovern says.  

Along with these freedoms, comes responsibility: students have to make adjustments to manage their time and sleeping patterns.

“When school started, I didn’t have a very strong routine down since we were coming back from summer,” Duerkop said. “I would stay up really late and accidentally fall asleep during my lunch.”

Duerkop re-evaluated her schedule to adapt to the unstructured nature of e-learning.

“I noticed my bad routine and decided I needed a change,” Duerkop said. “I set a time that I needed to go to sleep by which allowed me to stay energized throughout the day.”

Junior Camila Ramirez finds that her sleeping habits have been altered since going to class from the comfort of her own room.

“My sleep schedule has changed a lot,” Ramirez said. “I go to bed a lot later and wake up five minutes before class.” 

With no travel time needed to get to school each morning, students are able to maximize their hours in bed. 

“My sleep schedule has improved,” Brown said. “I get to sleep in longer because I don’t have to drive to school.”

Junior Chloe Migon agrees, noting the effects of a more flexible schedule on her energy levels.

“My sleep schedule has changed a lot for the good,” Migon said. “I’ve been able to get more sleep than I’ve ever had.”

Senior Danny Sullivan notices the positives of the altered schedule of e-learning, as it has allowed students to modify their lives from where they join their classes, to what they do during free periods, to how much sleep they get each night. 

“I like that classes are spaced out in between days so you can maximize your effort on homework and studying,” Sullivan said. “I think the biggest benefit is being able to work at your own pace and I feel like there’s a lot less pressure leading up to big assignments.” 

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