Time to change

Ethan Knauth, Online Copy Editor

With the recent introduction of MacBooks into the daily lives of students, the Blue Valley School District is trending toward a more online approach to learning, as students are required to do activities on their school-issued MacBooks within the classroom. Following this momentous move for the district, it begs the question: Why doesn’t society totally forgo the outdated in-person schooling experience for a more efficient and cost-effective online schooling approach?  

One of the major benefits for a solely online based education is, unless there is a total shutdown of the internet, school would never be canceled nor would students miss anything if they stayed home sick. Recently, with the barrage of snow days students have been faced with, Blue Valley schools haven’t had a full week of school since the first week back from winter break. This has lead to the questioning of whether school would continue into June to make up for the missed days of school (The Blue Valley School District recently came up with a plan to avoid this). Despite the annual worry that missing school days causes over whether students can attain enough academic hours to complete the school year, missing school days can be detrimental in other ways. Generally, tests and projects are not subject to date changes despite the fact that one cannot physically come to school. Enter online schooling. No more will students be liable for a test they were unable to take or a presentation they were unable to present, for they can do it from the comfort of their own home or local library. In effect, online schooling would remake the education process into an efficient, convenient task, as it could be performed from anywhere at anytime.

Time after time, we as a society hear how students learn better at different paces and with different methods than others, but nothing has truly been done to combat this. The fact of the matter is, traditional schooling methods can’t achieve an equilibrium where all students’ educational needs can be met. Certain restrictions such as man power and limited time in each class bar in-person schooling from covering all bases with students. These same restrictions don’t face online schooling. Each class and subject can be tailor made for each student. If there’s one student who learns better visually and has a social studies class, why not create a virtual reenactment of a certain battle they were being lectured on. Or if there’s one student who is an auditory learner and perform well under traditional schooling methods, why not provide them with the typical lecture environment that they excel under. Also, each class/subject time can be altered to meet the necessary time increment the student requires to fully understand his/her material. Although not limitless, online schooling opens the door to a variety of new, innovative schooling methods which can be purposed to meet all educational needs for every level of student.

The final fact of the matter is online schooling provides a major upside in regards to it’s cost-effectiveness. No more will the price of keeping the lights on, the air moving, school-provided transportation running or other necessities required to run a school stretch the tax dollars thin. Rather, the funds could repurposed into attaining and maintaining a domain for the online school, which would result in a surplus of tax dollars left over, possibly leading to tax cuts for citizens statewide. Now everyone asks what will happen to teachers if online schooling is the future, well as mentioned earlier, online schooling has the unique ability to be tailor made to suit each students educational needs and just one person can not do this alone. With this in mind, teachers, who already create daily lesson plans, can just repurpose their skills in order to make lesson plans for students of a specific need. In addition, several states have faced teacher strikes demanding the pay they were promised or greater pay. Despite being cash-strapped, these states can easily solve their inability to pay their teachers by transitioning into an online school system, freeing up tax dollars as online schooling is cheaper than traditional schooling.

Although many might see online schooling as the purging of the intrapersonal feel traditional schooling provides, online schooling bears necessary upgrades in regards to cost, tailor made student learning and prevention of missing school to pass up. Many times before society has yielded to innovation and technology in order to progress, why stop striving to improve on the outdated methods of the past now?