E-Learning Can't Replace The Classroom, But Teachers & Parents Are Trying

Mar 25, 2020

During the dash to prepare students and families to learn from home, the rural Oregon Community School District issued what amounted to a disclaimer. 


John Zuber is an Oregon high school English teacher. He says the district had to say e-learning simply won’t be at the same level of education they get in the classroom. It’s just not possible.


“Which is a good admission, I think. It's like we can't replicate what we would normally do, but we're trying," he said.


But teachers are trying their best to make it work with digital tools like Google Classroom. 


He says, so far, his lessons have translated pretty well. His classes are reading the classic dystopian novel, "Fahrenheit 451," and turning in their typical response worksheets.


“But, I don't know, if you're a math teacher trying to do this, I mean, there has to be so much direct instruction there," said Zuber.


His district is rural, so they had to rush to make sure their students even had quality internet access. 


“In a sense, there is some lost time going on, like there's lost education. And for juniors and seniors in high school that's a bummer," said Zuber.


For younger elementary students, like Zuber’s own daughter, there’s also a lot at stake. He says it’s challenging for those teachers and parents to try and replicate the interactive classroom experience.

He says e-learning has also broken down some barriers. He says everyone is trying to figure it out at the same time, so he can be a little more casual and candid with his students.