Students Struggle with Screen Time, Home Environments During Virtual Learning

Long Beach Unified School District students have different opinions when talking about virtual learning. 

Ever since the pandemic shut down all the schools on March 13, students have been learning through virtual classes. Learning at home through the computer was a new environment that not all were ready or prepared for, and not all had reliable resources that could help with their efficiency in class.

Along with that, not many are comfortable with staring at a screen all day. 

Devean Ruiz, a 10th grade CIC student at Poly High School, discussed his experience with the new way of learning for this semester. 

“I’m in class for about six hours every weekday, having heaps of online homework which really strains my eyes,” he said. 

Staring at a screen all day can damage your eyes if you don’t take enough breaks in between. Your sight can become blurry, and with time your vision won’t be what it used to be. 

In addition, having large families with siblings who are also learning through virtual learning can intervene with being able to focus in class. Andrea Moreno Sanchez, a 10th grader at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School, and 10th grade Sasha Martin-Flores at Poly High School agree that their families have gotten in the way of their learning environment.

“My family gets in the way, cause they always distract, and sometimes I can’t focus,” Moreno said.

In a similar situation, Martin-Flores spoke about her problems with focusing in class. 

“Background noise,” Martin-Flores said, “siblings needing help and needing to use the restroom but they won’t let us turn off the camera to do so.” 

It isn’t always easy to focus on important work when things like your small siblings are crying or if your parents are cooking. This is one of the biggest problems that most students have when learning virtually.  

When asked about how they would react to finding out if next semester was also virtual, about 60% of the interviewed students claimed that they would be very upset while the other students stated that they didn’t feel much for it. 

One of the students who would be upset is Jessica Diaz, a 10th grader at Poly High School. She looks forward to school because she feels more focused at school rather than her own home. 

However, one student who feels natural about having online classes next semester is Jenelle Macapaz, a 10th grader at Poly High School in the Justice Academy. 

Macapaz said, “I would understand. I wish it was over because other people aren’t in a good environment.” 

She agrees that we should stay safe and remain distant if we need to be but she also believes that it can have a bad effect because some kids aren’t in a healthy place.  

According to the official City of Long Beach website, there are have been 13,511 Covid-19 cases in Long Beach. LBUSD is hoping to reopen schools on January 28th, at the beginning of the second semester, if there are no sudden spikes in Covid-19.