Face to Face vs. Online Learning

The Covid-19 pandemic has shaped the way George Bush High School’s learning models look during the 2020-2021 school year. Given the options of face-to-face or online, students must choose which model to follow during the school year, which depends on what is subjectively the best choice for them. 

The FBISD school district has issued two learning models, face-to-face or online learning, for the 2020-2021 school year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This decision has enabled different perspectives from each individual student, driven by their chosen learning model.  

“I have been online all school year. Personally, I would choose face to face,” sophomore Cyrene Damey said.  

While some students remained online all year round, some transitioned to face to face. 

“I’ve experienced both face to face and online this year. In all honesty, I prefer online learning,” junior Leon Tran said. 

Although each student has their preferences, each learning model also has its own perks. 

“My favorite thing about online is I get to end school early,” freshman John Chavez said. 

Other students enjoyed the freedom online school provided them. 

“My favorite thing about online is the freedom during the school day, such as being able to eat what I want to eat, wear what I want to wear, be in my desired workspace, and work or learn the way I want to,” Cyrene Damey said. 

However, for some students, the comfort and freedom provided create their own drawbacks, making face to face the more suitable learning structure. 

“One thing I began to grow into during online was comfort. I like to say comfort is the enemy of progress. I was beginning to lose focus in school and motivation within my classes. Face to face has allowed me to grow bonds with my teachers. I, myself, am a visual learner. Face to face allows me to confidently ask questions, grow bonds with my peers, and discipline me,” Brian Thai, current sophomore said. 

While online had many cons from time management to comfort, face-to-face had its own as well. 

“I find it harder to stay focused face to face. I’m often really tired, so I tend to fall asleep in class or zone out,” Leon Tran said. 

Lack of motivation became an issue for many students, regardless of their learning structure. 

“I lack motivation online because being at home doesn’t help me focus because I am not in a learning environment,” Cyrene Damey said. 

To resolve this issue, each student has developed different methods to get assignments and work done. 

“I try not to use motivation to push myself, but rather a schedule or checklist that helps me get things done,” Leon Tran said. 

Although both learning models vary in many aspects, the workload is relatively the same or even less for those face to face. 

“The workload is definitely less. Since we have so much time within classes, we usually have enough time to finish all our work in school. This has given me a lot of freedom after school and allows me to have room for my hobbies still,” Brian Thai said. 

Aside from learning, extra-curricular clubs have also converted to online, with more cons than pros. 

“It’s not easier to do clubs online because some clubs are activities that are meant to be done in groups of people face to face,” John Chavez said. 

Most students agree with John, stating that online clubs have become more like a chore, rather than a club. 

“It isn’t easier because you can’t really interact with others online. Plus, I feel like it’s just a chore at this point if you try to do clubs online,” Leon Tran said. 

With all the changes the school year brought, the district has provided resources to accommodate the needs of students. 

“The resources provided by the district are very helpful to me and other students. One link is a great resource because everything we need for school is all in one place for us to access,” Cyrene Damey said. 

The 2020-2021 school year has brought drastic learning changes for every student at George Bush. While face-to-face and online learning have the same end goal, their processes vary, affecting each student in different ways.  

By J.A.