Shannon Mellott, center, with her three daughters and her granddaughter. Photo courtesy of Larry Pearson.

Students and Parents Alike Struggle With Virtual Learning

Virtual learning has taken a toll on many parents this fall, and it’s something many parents wish would undergo some sort of restructuring. Shannon Mellott is one of those parents. She is a mother of three, as well as a grandmother. She also works full time, and is a full-time student at Frederick Community College. 

Shannon tries to be a good mother, and she tries her best to see her children succeed, but she, like many others, is struggling to adapt to virtual learning and slowly becoming frustrated.

Shannon understands the need for this virtual learning, but that does not make it easier for her to give her children the best education possible. The biggest issues for her are struggling with her 6-year-old daughter to wake up in the morning, trusting her 17-year-old daughter to make sure that the 6-year-old is logged on at all times, and trusting her 14-year-old daughter to actually log on and complete her assignments. 

Shannon is a supervisor at her job, and she is very occupied solving issues and making sure that everything is running smoothly at work, so it can be difficult to constantly be on the phone checking in on her children every hour.

Another big issue is problems with Wi-Fi connections, especially Comcast. It is hard to tell if it is because of so many students logging on at the same time, or because of the technology that the schools are using. Also, when the session is disrupted, the little ones think that it is time to go play. Not to mention that if an adult is not right there to reconnect them to the internet, then they cannot get back on themselves. 

Shannon stated, “Often times, Schoolology is down, and the links that are given to the students are not connecting them to where they need to be properly.” She also talked about the issues that she was having logging onto her own FCC account, and having issues with the links in there. 

Shannon also pointed out that there are so many distractions for the children. With Tik Tok and other social media apps, it is hard for virtual learning to capture their attention and keep it for an entire day. She talked about how her youngest daughter will do well in her first period class, but as soon as they go to break for an hour, many issues come up.

“Teachers expect a 6-year-old to stay focused all day, log onto their classes on their own, and complete schoolwork without supervision; it’s just not realistic,” she said. Sometimes, her youngest will get caught up in something else while she is waiting for an hour between groups and will then forget what time she has to log back on. Other times, she may fall asleep, waiting all of that time.

“Things were so simple when you could just get your children up in the morning, get them ready for school, and put them on the bus. You didn’t have to worry about if they were actually learning, or if they were in class at all. If they had a question, they could just raise their hand and ask the teacher,” Shannon said.

Shannon did point out that the teachers at FCC and the schools of her children have been very helpful, and they have offered resources to help. But she, like many others, is just ready for this all to be over and get back to normal.

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