The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

Online learning is not a thing of the past

Erin Kim
A tired student learns about mitochondria through a pre-recorded lecture on his computer. Teachers are increasingly using virtual learning strategies despite school being in person.

Multiple teachers at Cal High continue to use online lectures despite the end of COVID-19 and distance learning era. 

During online schooling, asynchronous learning, where students don’t have to log in to class at set times, made it possible for students to learn at their own pace outside scheduled Zoom meetings. Teachers often utilized pre-recorded lectures in this learning format. 

Some teachers found this asynchronous learning to be effective and continued to use it even as students returned to in-person learning and live lectures became possible.  

Chemistry teacher Jack Sarkany, who has been working at Cal for 19 years, used  online lectures even before the pandemic. He first started recording them eight years ago for his chemistry class.  

“[Pre-recorded lectures] can only benefit the students in many ways,” Sarkany said. “They can take their own amount of time and can do more or less.” 

Sarkany said he started using online lectures because students were often missing class because of illnesses during and after the pandemic. 

But not all students believe that the online lectures are entirely beneficial. Some students believe that online lectures are easier for teachers but harder for students, who think it’s hard for them to ask questions along the way since the information is not taught in person. 

On the other hand, sophomore Laura Castillo, prefers online lectures to in-person lectures. 

Castillo has Chemistry teacher Debbie Smith, who has been using online lectures since the pandemic. In class, students get time to work on the lectures that her teacher assigns for homework, which are usually 10 minutes long. 

Castillo believes that learning from online lectures is easier than learning from live ones. 

“When the teachers do presentations you miss things,” Castillo said. “In a video you can pause it, and also go back to the things you missed.”

Smith said she also believes the online lectures benefit students, though she still presents in-person lectures for the more difficult topics.

“Students can go at their own pace, pause if they need to, or go back to study for a summative,” Smith said of online lectures.

AP Environmental Science and chemistry teacher Sarah Richardson-Gipson has been using online lectures for her chemistry classes during the transition before distance learning, and she has just started using them for her APES class last year. 

Gipson said that the online lectures give students flexibility by allowing them to rewatch and pause the videos when necessary, but they also ensure that all classes are receiving the same information.

“With live lectures, sometimes you’ll remember to say one thing in one class but forget to say it in another class,” Gipson said. “With the online lectures, it ensures that all three APES classes or both chem classes are receiving the exact same lecture material.”

Sophomore Jack Smyrni said in Gipson’s chemistry class there are two or three 10- 15-minute videos per month. Smyrni said Smyrni is watching his assigned lectures, he pauses or slows them down to help students understand all of the information being presented.

Smyrni believes lecture videos are easier than those in-person. 

“You are able to engulf much more knowledge than standard learning,” Smyrni said. 

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About the Contributors
Mahita Chava
Mahita Chava, Staff Writer
Sophomore Mahita Chava is entering her first year of newspaper at Cal High as a staff writer. She hopes to improve her writing skills through this class. She also plays for the varsity tennis team at Cal. In her free time, Mahita likes to play tennis with friends, take her dog out on walks, spend time with friends and family, and travel to new places.
Sherlyn Hernandez
Sherlyn Hernandez, Staff Writer
Sherlyn Hernandez is a sophomore at Cal High and is joining The Californian as a staff writer. She likes going to the gym, playing soccer, and watching TV. As a new member, she is excited to write and share interesting stories that happen on or off campus.
Erin Kim
Erin Kim, Graphics Editor
Erin Kim is returning for her second year with The Californian. She is a senior at Cal High and is anticipating her year as a graphics editor. She loves to draw and come up with ideas to publish in the newspaper. Her hobbies also include swimming and baking. She hopes to have a fun senior year!

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