By Angela N. Parker
According to a recent Duke University panel at the school’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, youth of color tend to face more challenges than their white counterparts when it comes to distance learning.
Much of the problem boils down to a lack of resource - far too many youth face economic struggles and it is not easy for them to shelter in place or learn online. Not all students have access to computers or cameras; not all students have the wi-fi that is needed to log in to class; not all students have a quiet place in their household to learn; and not all students have parents who can stay at home with them an act as surrogate teachers if they need assistance.
There is a real economic and digital divide.
For students who attend Los Angeles High School, learning in the age of covid has not been easy. Below, are some stories from them, about the challenges they have faced.
The challenges I had with remote learning was, having a quiet place to do my work, not being able to complete work, and getting stressed. I live with 6 family members, so having a quiet place to do my work, was rarely available unless it was night or early morning. My schedule was a mess during these past months. As a result, I was being stressed most of the time. Thankfully, most teachers still accepted late work, so I was able to catch up on most of my work.
As I live with 6 family members, most of the time, my house is a mess and it's expected of me to clean up the mess. Sometimes when I try to do my homework, I immediately have to clean up something or help my family members with something, such as with homework. It's difficult being able to complete homework because of this problem. Staying up and waking up early to do my homework, had become part of my busy schedule. My family members aren't my only problem, as I have to do other stuff during the week.
As I get stressed often, headaches occur often and feeling tired. Being busy all week doesn't allow me to have some time for myself. Having an hour to myself is nearly impossible to happen, as I'm always doing something. Thankfully, I'm passing most of my classes, and for some, I have a high grade. Although I had a rough time with online classes, I would rather have online classes than going back to campus. Although I do wish I had some quiet place to be able to do my homework, such as a library.
One of the challenges that I've faced this school year is home problems and scheduling
problems. Ever since I started working at home, it's been getting more difficult because I feel
like I've gotten used to working at school than at home. For example, it would only take me 1-3
hours to finish my work at school but at home it's taking me an entire day to finish something for
a certain class. Home has a lot of distractions such as television or phones and I feel like that's
one of the main reasons why I'm having problems at the moment. Not to mention, we've been at
home for 8 months and we yet still haven't gone back to school, even though I am concerned for
students and my health, I do wish to go back to school.
As well as for my schedule, I really don't have one because everyday, I'm constantly on my
computer doing work or catching up on my classes and I can't seem to find time for myself or
take a small break for once. I get very paranoid about it. Usually, I have after school, either it be
Adventures League or Leadership, and there it would kind of be a break for me from school but
around those time, I continue to do my work and never have time to enjoy myself!
One problem I faced this year was I moved units in my apartment. It caused me to have trouble balancing between school work and moving and I couldn't really focus on both things at once which made it difficult.
After i finished moving, I didn’t have internet for around a week so I would have to use my phone's hotspot which was really slow and used up my high speed data. Today I just got internet again so it's all good.
The challenges i'm trying to face are trying to wake up for school because I over sleep. I'm trying to catch up with all of my missing work because i'm way behind.
The challenge i'm facing as well is trying not to get distracted easily by surroundings. Not much of a paragraph but I still answered it.
The challenges i have with remote learning is that i get to many assignments for each class and it starts to stress me out because sometimes they wont give you the link to do the work or they wont tell you where to go. They will give me a lot of homework and it puts a lot of pressure on me and sometimes it will get me mad and i don’t really like remote learning because it will crash and i wont be able to do the work.
MY last challenge with remote learning is not being able to socialize because being in regular school helped me open up more and helped me learn faster and more easier and i got to get away from my problems because school helped me socialize and remote learning dose not have that.