Students adjust to first week of distance learning

The+first+week+of+distance+learning+is+over.+This+is+Arianna+Rios%27s+work+area+at+home.+Students+have+been+asked+to+work+at+a+table+in+a+quiet+setting+in+order+to+focus.

Photo by courtesy of Arianna Rios

The first week of distance learning is over. This is Arianna Rios’s work area at home. Students have been asked to work at a table in a quiet setting in order to focus.

The first week of distance learning is over for Kamehameha Schools Maui and many other schools across the world. As the pandemic COVID-19 sweeps the globe, students have been instructed to continue schooling online, causing many bittersweet feelings.

One week into distance learning, how's it going?

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“It was different, but I miss my friends and seeing my classmates. I feel that I’m missing out on the rest of my senior year and missing the last moments/memories in high school,” senior Malie Watanabe said.

While high school seniors are feeling the effects of the virus while their year comes to a pause, many hope that they will be able to graduate like a normal class.

“Honestly, it’s so sad. Senior year has pretty much come to a sudden painful halt” said Kālele Hakes, an Hawai’i Technology Academy Maui senior .

As the students understand that distance learning is necessary, some also see that distance learning is a better way to learn.

“It was easier than school since I can do everything at my pace and still have time to relax and exercise. It also gave me more time to focus on each class, especially the ones that I need to work harder on,” junior Arianna Rios said.

It’s only been one week, but Maui teens seem to be closely split on the issue.

A student survey consisting of Maui county high schoolers taken on April 4, 2020, shows that 52% find distance learning more difficult than regular school and 48% find distance learning to be easier.

A survey of 96 Maui county high school students taken on April 4, 2020. Pie chart made on Meta-Chart.com
A survey of 96 Maui county high school students taken on April 4, 2020. Pie chart made on Meta-Chart.com

While the survey shows that the results are almost even, many students expressed that the main part that they missed, was the social interaction with their friends and peers.

“I like that I am able to finish my work very quickly. Also I feel like I learn better this way, but I miss my friends,” junior Madeline Sylvester said.

It has been quite the adjustment for KSM students as they follow the regular school schedule starting at 8:15 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m.

“Distance learning for me was completely based on personal motivation. I think it helps me to manage my time wisely and develop as a productive student,” sophomore Amaya Genovia said.

KSM students are continuing to positively push forward through this time of change.

Freshman Kayla Frias said that her experience has been fun so far and that it is only a little harder to wake up at 8 [a.m].

This was only the first week of distance learning, and there are many changes that the students are getting used to since there is no telling how long it will last. KSM does not yet have a date for when in-person schooling will be back in session.

“At the end of the day, I know that we will be able to overcome the beginning struggles and get back into a flow while creating a new normal. Even though it may be stressful at first, I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn online with all of the resources needed provided by the school,” junior Kiana Holokai said.