What do students think about their first week of online learning?

by The Glen Echo

*Some students have chosen to remain anonymous for personal privacy. 


Describe your experience in online classes over the first week of distance learning.

“It’s very lonely. I feel like I’m confined and I don’t have any freedom. When I get my work done, I just sit there doing nothing because other teachers haven’t posted assignments yet so I just have to wait.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

“It has been ok- some classes have been a lot more productive then others. I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect going into it, but this is a lot better than I thought it would be.” – Lily Alvino, Grade 9.

“My experience with online classes over the past week has been less neutral than I thought it would be. In three days, I only learned one new thing out of all of my classes, and even so, it was  difficult to communicate with my teacher when I needed him to actually sit down and explain it himself. That’s not to say that my teachers aren’t doing their jobs because they are, and we are all trying to make the best of this, but I still feel unprepared for the tests I have coming up and it feels a little bit like too much too soon. We’re still being held to the same standards as normal school, which is fine work-wise, but if this is how we’re going to be learning for the near future, something needs to be reevaluated.” – Jenny DeStefano, Grade 12 

“I love having online classes. This system has allowed me to get more sleep and be comfortable while learning, something that doesn’t happen at school. Even if I do not see my teachers in person, I am still able to learn the information. Additionally, my teachers have come up with creative assignments that students can do online, while still learning the information, instead of just reading a textbook.”  – Anonymous, Grade 10 

“Decent. I really enjoy the online webinars but only 2-3 of my classes use them. Other classes give assignments where we learn on our own which I don’t like as much. It makes it hard to ask questions and there is usually a lot of work that is assigned. The days are long and draining and rarely any of my classes don’t use the computer although I was told teachers would incorporate non-technological learning experiences.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

Is there anything you would change about online schooling?

“I would like for classes to be more interactive if possible because I am more of an auditory learner, so if I just read something and do a lesson it’s more difficult to comprehend and apply it further.” – Devyn Ivers, Grade 10 

“I don’t really think we need a “full day” of this because in most classes it takes like 10 minutes to do the work then you just sit there until the next period, plus we’re one of the only schools doing a full day in the county.” – Nicole Finkenstadt, Grade 11 

“I still believe we should have a half day schedule just like every other town in Bergen County. I, for one, have seen no reduction in the amount of homework given, so after a long online day of school, I have to do another few hours of homework as well as go to my part time job. This is a very stressful time in everyone’s life and I don’t agree that the days should be a full 7 hours long to maintain “normalcy”. In addition, I used my computer in 5/6 of my classes today and all of my classes yesterday including a lab period. By the end of the day I had a killer headache, had to go to work after, and later on had homework that consisted on some online assignments. In my opinion, and I’m sure many of my classmates would agree, these days have been long and hard and it would be great to have a shortened schedule.” – Anonymous Grade 11

“I would rather wake up at a later time and not have a certain time period. For instance, I’d rather our teachers give us all the assignments for that day and we have the whole day to finish them. Once we finish we can submit the assignments.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“I think that the classes should be shorter like in a half day schedule as I usually finish my work slightly before the period is over, and this would reduce our time behind the screen. Since in a half day we have 40 minute classes this would be an ideal amount of time to complete the class while also not sitting behind a screen for 7 hours. Even though we have lunch and gym, gym activities include online reflections so what I don’t like about online schooling is the long amount of time at my computer.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

“I just think that this was inevitable and because of that I believe the school should have prepared for this a little more because I think they made this whole online learning so last minute. That’s how I think it could’ve gone better if we prepared for this a little earlier.” – Michael Taromina, Grade 10

“I think it’s great that we are able to do this because it’s so important to keep learning even when faced with a major problem like COVID-19. I’m so glad that we don’t have to add on any days to the end of the year. I do think that teachers’ aides have been left in the dust. My mom works at Coleman as a teacher’s aid and she can’t get paid for the whole time we are out of school. I don’t know what the solution is, I’m just concerned for others who don’t have other income.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Just want to give a shoutout to all of our teachers for doing their best adapting in these difficult times. They are working extremely hard to teach their students and they deserve a thank you.”  – Declan Connolly, Grade 11

“For me, it has been a stressful experience not being able to have direct contact with most of my teachers and classmates and the fact that I really am spending most of my day looking at a screen. I know there has been a lot of positive feedback from adults (notice it is all from parents on facebook), but  notice how there has been little positive feedback from the high schoolers, themselves. Although this has not been a terrible experience, I would not say that this was an amazing solution to the problem as Dr. Charleston thinks. With our continuing full day schedule of online learning, I do believe that many, including myself, will face some negative long term consequences such as sleep deprivation and harming of the eyes.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I hope everyone stays calm during this time because we will get through this. This isn’t the first time the world has gone through something like this. And after all this we need to see our faults in our practices and country so we can never let anything like this happen again. To prevent this for many future Americans. And we as a country have to come together and to get through this together; and we can do this.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

Other Responses:

Describe your experience in online classes over the first week of distance learning.

“Hard.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“Not bad, but I always have extra time in the period and just sit around and wait to log into my next class.” – Emily Packer, Grade 11

“Can’t grasp the information well.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Stressful and rushed.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I am dumber than I was a week ago.” – Tommy Van Vliet, Grade 12 

“I think it has gone very well.” – Aidan Kennedy, Grade 11 

“It’s not bad but it’s hard looking at a screen for 7 hours a day.” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“I have had both good and bad results over the past week. A good result is that I’ve had much less work for teachers which is very good in my opinion. However, without the personal touch of a teacher teaching me, it’s definitely been harder to comprehend what we are learning and I find myself having more trouble through my learning process as a result of this.” – Michael Taromina, Grade 10

“It has been somewhat difficult because the days drag on and you’re only doing busywork that isn’t impacting my education, and I feel like so far the learning has just gone right through me. It’s definitely harder to understand more interactive classes like Math and Science because while they can use the whiteboard, I find myself learning from videos that don’t help me comprehend the full topic.” – Devyn Ivers, Grade 10

“It’s not bad, just kind of confusing to navigate what the task is.” – Jack Randazzo, Grade 11

“It’s been going well except the fact that I can’t engage on conference calls since my mic won’t work.” – Anthony Maurice, Grade 11 

“It wasn’t that bad. I liked the full day just because we aren’t super bored for a majority of the day.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“Good, I believe I get my work done faster. It is boring though, sitting down on the computer for hours.” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“It’s been difficult because when I go on ‘conferences’ to learn, most of the time it’s hard to hear my teacher because it’s very glitchy and the audio cuts in and out. I’m also very unmotivated to do work at home so it’s hard to do work.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“Some classes it’s fine because they are actually teaching but a lot of my teachers are just assigning busy work and then giving homework on top of that.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“I don’t mind it although I don’t know how long I would be able to do this for.” – Allie Doerr, Grade 11

“Pretty good.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“It has been alright but in some classes I haven’t gotten much done. However in others I have.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Somewhat chaotic but not too bad. Rather be in school. Eyes hurt.” – Guillermo Aldaz, Grade 11

“too much work, the teachers are giving more work online than they do in class and it’s hard to finish it all during the time period and I am afraid that if I don’t my teachers will get mad but I don’t know if they are because it’s hard to communicate. The conferences and folders are working well though.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“It’s been a really tough scheduling. There’s more work done and it’s not easy to communicate with teachers.” – Yuma Amano, Grade 11 

“My teachers have a hard time explaining through online.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“Classes have been fairly easy, there have been some technical difficulties but other than that it hasn’t been bad.” – Nicole Finkenstadt, Grade 11 

“Online classes have been pretty easy so far but sometimes it is more difficult to complete tasks on the computer rather than doing it by hand and to understand what your teacher is asking you to do.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“The day is really long with lots of break times.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“The first week has felt long and it has only been 3 days. I have slowly adapted to this new lifestyle with no socializing or leaving my house. Online school has been pretty good and it has not affected my learning negatively.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Less stressful than actual class and it is nice to do work in bed.” – Martin Svider, Grade 11 

“My eyes hurt from the screen by the end of the day.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I feel like a lot of time is being wasted on busy work assignments and a lot of the teachers are just sending piles of work to students just to keep them busy. “ – Dylan Vila, Grade 11

“Interesting, not really much homework.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“The experience has been great. Although it can be monotonous I am truly enjoying the learning.” – Ryan Baumbach, Grade 11

”It has been tough Trying to learn trough the use of videos and worksheets without teacher instruction however our teachers are working extremely hard to do their best and everything is running generally smoothly.” – Declan Connolly, Grade 11 

“Hard.”- Anonymous, Grade 10

“It was good. Just a long day and gets boring at times.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“It is not as efficient, but still smooth sailing and did not have that many difficulties.”- Anonymous, Grade 10

“Not too bad, but my eyes and head hurt from looking at the laptop so much.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“Absolutely terrible.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“Tt was good not too much but not too little.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

It’s ok” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Hard” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Good but it strains your eyes” – Mark Tuttle, Grade 11

“Honestly very stressful i had a lot of headaches and the software kept glitching. i honestly barely got out of the house i still had so much work. “ – Anonymous, Grade 11

“So far it has been ok. The assignments teachers leave do not last the whole period and for the half the period you are just sitting there. I personally think that it’s harder to learn information/take notes.” – Conor Ollendike, Grade 10

“It is ok. The workload is manageable, however I think it’s unnecessary to have full length class periods because I find that most of my work can be finished in half a period or less.” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“Pretty normal, but getting boring cause I’m looking at a screen for a 7 hr school day” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“It was actually pretty good. I think it was very efficient and the teachers did a very good job adjusting to online. I learned a lot, probably the same amount I would learn in school. The conferences worked well and I was able to talk and ask questions to my teachers. Assignments and daily tasks were the same as if I was in the classroom. I think it went well. “ – Anonymous, Grade 11

“It is ok. Not too demanding but i find myself waiting in between classes way too long” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Pretty boring, I felt like a lot of the time I was just doing busywork. I didn’t feel like I was learning much of anything. There has also been very little student/teacher or student/student interaction. “ – Anonymous, Grade 12

“I like the format a lot. I think the teachers are giving reasonable work. But, the days do feel pretty long. I find myself getting tired of looking at the computer all day. “ – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Not terrible but I miss having social interaction.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Good but very bored at home, I miss going to school” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Very difficult, to focus” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“It was ok” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“It is hard to stay focused and I miss regular school which I never thought that would happen” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“Good, it’s much less productive than regular school” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“I actually thought it was pretty efficient considering how quickly it was put together. A lot of students also seem to be doing their work quicker and have a longer attention span. Also, many of us students think that having online school helps to pay attention since you’re not socializing with friends.”  – Julia Dzurenko, Grade 10

“Very long but not that big of a burden.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“I think it is actually efficient and easy to get work done with no distractions.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

It was ok but schoology is very laggy and sometimes i cant even open the app and it just signs me out,” Anonymous, Grade 9.

“I like it so far and I think teachers are being very fair about the work load. The work that is given is not just a quick, easy assignment and it takes actual brainpower.” – Emma Ohnegian, Grade 9.

“It’s harder than going to school because you can’t get as much assistance as you want right away.” – Anonymous, Grade 9.

“It’s chill, I really like it given the unfortunate circumstances of the virus. I think it is a good alternative to school and I plan to take advantage of this time to relax.” – Emily Robertson, Grade 10

“I think that the online classes are good but being alone all day instead of being with my classmates and friends is difficult.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“Hurts my eyes a lot.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“I enjoy the freedom.” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“It was long. Being on a laptop for hours after hours made me tired and strained my eyes.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“Well I would say that it’s been going relatively well. There are some teachers getting on well with this and have done a great job. Some teachers need more time adjusting and to learn how to use Schoology to its full potential. I think it’s gone fine. Some work is more complicated than others. Also I miss being around people already. But have done my best through Schoology and other messaging tools.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“The online classes ran smoothly and were good, and we were able to do our work.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

It has been a lot of work sitting at my computer for a 7 hours with little to no breaks.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“It’’s been boring but the schoolwork hasn’t been too bad.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“Absolute horror I feel drained and bored.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“It was long. Being on a laptop for hours after hours made me tired and strained my eyes.” – Jonathan Sanowski, Grade 10 

“Online classes were fine. They were unnecessarily long as I usually finish the work with at least 20 minutes left in the period. I don’t mind them, it is a nice break.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

“I have had no issue with any class so far and overall it has been going pretty good. I tend to finish all the work given during the class period with a bunch of time left over.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Took some getting used to but beside a few system errors it worked pretty well.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

Is there anything you would change about online schooling?

“I would love to have a more flexible schedule (Be able to complete my assignments before class if I have time).” – Anonymous Grade 12

“Less time per period.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“Make each period shorter.” – Emily Packer, Grade 11

“Make the school day shorter.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“How much work we have to do.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“No, I think it’s great.” – Tommy Van Vliet, Grade 12

“It’s pretty good.” – Jack Randazzo, Grade 11 

“Make the periods shorter.” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“Honestly, yes. However I don’t think it is possible to change it, I think it is pretty sophisticated right now. However, I would definitely try to make it a little more high tech. I have had some technical problems throughout this week and it’s caused some learning problems that will probably continue. I just think it is tough to do this with glitches happening and miscommunications.” – Michael Taromina, Grade 10 

“We could cut down on the school day a little.” – Anthony Maurice, Grade 11 

“I think there should be a little less work because since we are doing a full day and we are at home with so many distractions it is hard to focus.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“The length of the periods, I feel that I’m finishing my work with 20-30 minutes before I need to sign in to the next class.” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“I would just change the technical difficulties that I encounter with the conferences.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“Shorter day.” – Anonymous, Grade 11 

“I would definitely cut back the day to make it a half day. All of my assignments really only require 20-30 minutes of work, so it would be much easier to condense the day as a whole and stop drawing everything out. If everything were shorter and back-to-back, I would feel a lot better about losing so much normalcy, because there would be a clear break between school and home. As it stands now,  the whole day feels like a weird mix between the two even after “school” has technically concluded.” – Jenny DeStefano, Grade 12 

“How much work is given for the period because teachers will generally spend at least 20 minutes trying to explain how to do the work not really giving enough time to finish and by the end of the period I would have to move onto the next period.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

“I think it works well in some aspects, but some teachers kinda get confused with the technology and the full day is too long because 15 minutes through one period i’m done and have to wait another 40 minutes for my next class to start.” – Allie Doerr, Grade 11

“The length of the day.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Shorten periods because I am doing a lot of nothing in most of them.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I feel like we should not just be doing busy work like we are in some classes. If we’re stuck at home I would rather be doing something productive rather than busy work.” – Lily Alvino, Grade 9

“Less time on screen. Shorter days.” – Guillermo Aldaz, Grade 11

“shorter time for high school. I get a migraine everyday from looking at my computer for so long and I don’t have breaks because my classes are giving so much work.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I would like to have less time on screen which would definitely be more effective and beneficial for both students and teachers.” – Yuma Amano, Grade 11

“Shorter days.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I don’t think the periods need to be the whole 52 minutes because a lot of the work given by my teachers can be completed quicker.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Half day- the full day is too long.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Maybe a shortened day so we are not on our computers for 5-6 hours each day.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I wish that the online school day was shorter because of how much time we have to look at our computer screens.” – Martin Svider, Grade 11

“Make assignments shorter or not online so less screen time.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“We don’t need to be taking this much time. I’m taking 4 AP classes and I’ve only used the whole class period twice. I would say shorten the periods because no teachers are even teaching they are just leaving work.” – Dylan Vila, Grade 11

“Make the attendance thing easier. People just forget and it gets messy.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“We should have the option to print from our computers. Also certain teacher should not feel pressure to give more work than they usually do.” – Ryan Baumbach, Grade 11

“I would switch to a half day schedule.” – Declan Connolly, Grade 11

“Less time per period.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“Have it be a shorter school day like half day.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“Better conference app or a way to see the teacher and the class. Also would not make it a full day.”-Anonymous, Grade 10

“If possible turning to half days would greatly benefit the student body.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“Half day.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“I think the assignments are better than the conferences because it can b hard to pay attention during conferences.”- Anonymous, Grade 11

“Teachers are too hard to reach.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Make it half day” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“We should have a half day so we don’t have to stare at a screen so long.” – Mark Tuttle, Grade 11

“half day!! or start later. but shorter periods.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I would change the length of the periods. Secondly I would like all the teachers to use conferences or use a video. Just assigning worksheets isn’t going to help us learn the basics of the curriculum.” – Conor Ollendike, Grade 10

“I think class periods should not be the full length of a normal day.” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“Shorter class times” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Make it shorter because there is no need for all the excess time.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Shorter days and less conferences.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Make it shorter.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Make the days shorter. Sitting on a computer all day is very unhealthy.” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“Too long, shorter days.” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“More interactive and engaging.” – Anonymous, Grade 9 

“Half day, it’s not like we’re doing work the entire period.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

“No, I think that the current online schooling system is good.” – Anonymous, Grade 10   

“Honestly, no.” – Julia Dzurenko, Grade 10

” I would love for the days to be half days.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“Make the school day shorter.” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“Half day!! Sitting down and staring at the screen for a long period of time gives me headaches.” Anonymous, Grade 9 

“Make it a half day!!” – Emma Ohnegian, Grade 9

“Less work to do after school.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I wish they would just assign everything at once instead of having to sign into every class every period.” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“The hours, full day is too long” -Anonymous, Grade 10

“Schoology keeps crashing so maybe we should use a different site for conferences. Also, I think the period could be shorter.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“I would try to prevent all teachers from giving out ridiculous tasks and goals. Some a lot hard than others. This is a stress full time for people and you still as a school try to give people still a bunch of work. I would try to minimize this all because our school and many other schools can be in the long haul with this. This also over time wants me to want school to be half a day because all other schools around in Bergen have half days.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“It would be nice if the school day were shorter.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“Less conference and time spent on the computer itself.” -Anonymous, Grade 11

“Shortened day/periods.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I think before leaving for online schooling we should’ve established a practice day so we could all understand how to use the websites we’re using.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

Is there anything else you would like to share?

“Yes, lessen the school day.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Make the school day shorter.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Being on the computer for a whole class day is too much.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

I enjoy this online learning , but once covid-19 breaks out in glen rock, we will need a long term solution and I don’t think this is it. “ – Jack Randazzo, Grade 11

“I believe this is better than going to school everyday.” – Anonymous, Grade 12

“Love the survey, great idea. Overall a good idea (online schooling) but shorter days for sure.” – Guillermo Aldaz, Grade 11

Because some teachers think we have time at home, they assign more work and it ends up taking much longer time after the school ends.” – Yuma Amano, Grade 11

“Currently, I am fine with online school but I don’t understand why we are the only public school in Bergen County with a full day of school.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“This has been the worst three days in recent memory. I hate regular school and even I want to go back to school.” – Dylan Vila, Grade 11

“I think before leaving for online schooling we should’ve established a practice day so we could all understand how to use the websites we’re using.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“As someone who has glasses, this really hurts my head and is further harming my vision in ways I can notice even though it’s only the first week.” – Anonymous, Grade 10 

“Yea, lessen the school day.” -Anonymous, Grade 11

“Half day.” – Anonymous, Grade 10

“My head is pounding due to the screen I have to look at for 7 hours.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“The day is too long.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“More breaks, no need to go to class for health” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I hate my life; if this coronavirus gets any worse I swear to god” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“Other schools have shorter days because it’s bad for our eyes and brain” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“I never thought i’d say I miss real school” – Anonymous, Grade 9

“I think we should have half a day because my eyes and head hurt from staring at a computer screen all day!” – Emma Ohnegian, Grade 9

“I’m honestly not mad at the fact that we have full days because I have nothing else to do during the day. “ – Emily Robertson, Grade 10

“The high school should have shorter days, not fair to us.” – Anonymous, Grade 11

“I think that online schooling is working well and each teacher has found their own approach to teaching us online.” -Anonymous, Grade 10 

“I like how teachers assign little homework. “ – Anonymous, Grade 10

“As someone who has glasses, this really hurts my head and is further harming my vision in ways I can notice even though it’s only the first week.” – Anonymous, Grade 10