E-learning versus Traditional Learning

Staffers debate the merits and drawbacks of remote learning days

Pooja Jain, Staff Reporter

Benefits of E-learning

These first few e-learning weeks have gone better than most students make it out to be. After all, the key to success in unexpected e-learning situations is to have adequately prepared students and teachers prior to the emergency. Stevenson had previously been deploying e-learning during snow days since last year. We’re practically used to interacting with technology via our iPads to go online to submit assignments, do homework, and the like, so it’s not a completely different experience for us. 

Especially with the newly updated daily schedule (Mar. 28), the 30-minute classes are now long enough to keep the students engaged but not so long that they tune out or get overwhelmed. Already, I’ve heard stories of students bringing pets to class, online Zumba workshops and “coronactivities” despite the quarantine.

In regards to grading in the future, schools including Stevenson who are offering online education to students in a situation like the COVID-19 outbreak have well kept in mind that students might be unusually distressed. Instead of constantly comparing e-learning to traditional school, we have to remember how the former has provided a solid and consistent learning experience essential for students to rely on.

 I know for a fact that without the semblance of structure e-learning provides, my quarantine days would’ve been a blur.

Benefits of Traditional Learning

Wake up at 8:55 a.m. Flip the light switch on. Lean over to your nightstand and swipe on your charging iPad. Join first-period Zoom. Turn camera off. Turn audio off. Take a nap perhaps? Repeat. 

For my friends, that’s what their typical weekday looks like now. Now I get it, Stevenson students are notorious for complaining about how they need more time to relax, but when we said break we definitely were not expecting to be moved into our houses facing a screen for 5 hours of our day, while 50% of the class is texting their friends offscreen. I myself have fallen victim to this, and I never thought I’d say this but I genuinely miss sitting in my first-period class with Señor Grady watching Video Viernes. 

Now the mere thought of putting my phone away while being on Zoom is utterly shocking. Class Zooms do not provide me with the same level of excitement as being in an actual class did, so instead I direct my focus to my phone because at least that’s a little more interesting.

E-learning is a solution, but the question comes down to is it the best solution or is it even better than traditional school? 

The answer cannot be answered as easily as yes or no, but I can say that e-learning does not emulate the real learning experience or environment, and no matter how hard my teachers try, it does not feel the same. Looking at the faces of my peers during our Zooms, I can see that the motivation among all of us has significantly dropped, our focus is subpar at best. I don’t think anyone should have expected anything more when there is a computer, iPad and iPhone sitting in front of us now, and I can’t stop looking at myself in class Zooms! 


My focus is as good as a fish’s attention span now, and I do not feel compelled to pay as much attention to school as I used to. There are no consequences, and there is no supervision. 

I miss feeling satisfied and proud of the work I did every day after a day of school, and now I shut my computer at 2:45 and go back to doing just what I was doing on Zoom, being on my phone.