Online Learning Protocol Instituted at SHP

The coronavirus has forced us to change the way we live. During this national pandemic, it is of utmost importance that we all work together and practice social distancing and quarantining. Since March 12, Seton Hall Prep has been engaged in social distancing. In order to continue student’s educations, the Online Learning Protocol has been initiated. 

The Online Learning Protocol involves livestreams, video conferences, readings and assignments. At the beginning of each day, students are given their tasks for the day and expected to complete them. The tasks can be anything ranging from joining the class livestream at twelve to reading two chapters in the textbook by midnight. Teachers and students need to work together to make sure the assignments are made clear. If the assignment is confusing, the student should reach out to the teacher via the message system or the Outlook emails provided by the school. It is vital that students and teachers continue to communicate, even in these difficult times, because the students need to get the most out of their education. 

The Online Learning Protocol is a new way of learning that has never been done before, so many students have been forced to adapt to it. One big challenge students face is time management. The Online Learning Protocol does not have blocked out periods like a normal school day, so it is the responsibility of the individual student to complete the work on time. Although there is no bell alerting students that it is time to work on a specific subject, students need to make sure their assignments are completed before the assigned due date. Also, students could technically choose to wake up at noon and then begin working, but the faculty at The Prep hopes that students are continuing to wake up at a regular time. There is so much freedom in this new way of learning, so all the school can do is hope that these freedoms are not abused.

Unfortunately, another major challenge involved in the Online Learning Protocol is students actually doing their work. If a teacher assigns work such as “Read the next ten pages in the textbook,” the teacher has no way of making sure the student actually did the assignment. All teachers can do is hope that students take advantage of the education that they are being given. The work is clearly assigned for a reason, and it is not meant to simply be busy work. Students should recognize this and listen to their teachers’ instructions. Another major problem of kids completing their work is the problem of cheating. Students can easily text one another in order to share answers and both receive credit for the assignment. Although this is very enticing to a student, it is not worth it at all. Instead of completing a simple assignment on their own, students run the risk of being caught and severely punished by the school. Also, if students choose to cheat they will only be making future exams, such as the AP tests, harder on themselves. With the recent announcement of the AP’s strict no cheating policy, students who have cheated will struggle. When it comes time to take the AP test, those students who have cheated will be less prepared and all on their own. 

Lastly, with the enforcement of the Online Learning Protocol all spring sports have been put on hold. This is devastating to many players, especially seniors who desperately want to play their last season. Although players are upset about the hold, they are staying positive and hopeful. Teams frequently meet for Zoom calls, whether the calls include coaches giving instructions or simply the teams joining the call to catch up with their fellow teammates. Jack Dunleavy ’21, a lacrosse player at Seton Hall Prep, had this to say about recent events: “Obviously everyone is upset and worried about our season, but there are bigger problems in the world. We understand that social distancing and staying in quarantine is what is best for everyone.” Dunleavy makes it clear that all Seton Hall Prep students, whether athletes or not, care about their community and want everyone safe.