• Harry Smith

Behind the Scenes of a Blended Learner

Updated: Jun 25


 

By Harry Smith

 

Aria Khatib-Shahidi is a blended learner in Year 12 at BISB. He has been virtual since everything shut down in March 2020 through this whole year. We sat down with him to learn more about his experience as a blended learner this year.


Why did you become a virtual learner during the pandemic?


I decided to be virtual this year because I live with my grandparents who are very vulnerable to the virus. I felt I had to do what I could to keep them as safe as possible.


What difficulties did the pandemic present to school learning and work?


At the beginning of this school year it was quite a challenge considering I really wanted to go to school and when at home I really didn’t pay attention in my classes. After the 1st term, I realized my situation and ramped up my effort.


How well do you think the school and individual teachers adapted to the virtual environment

and are there any improvements you would suggest?


During the start of the pandemic I think because the situation was so strange, it was extremely difficult to adapt to the online system: blurry cameras, not being able to see the board, not having access to some of the work. However as the year has progressed, the teachers have learned to adapt very well.


How has the virtual environment affected you personally in terms of social interaction?


The social aspect is definitely something I miss most about being virtual. My social interactions have definitely become more limited. I am not able to see my friends and be with them like I normally would in school. On the bright side however, I have another close friend who is also a blended learner this year, and I live with a big family.


How do you feel about returning to school in-person next school year?


I’m excited! It might be hard to integrate considering I’ve been away for so long. But I have some good friends so I’m not worried. The drive to school and waking up one hour earlier is going to be tough but it will be healthier overall for me to go back to school.


We commend Aria for his resilience through all the challenges of being a blended learner. We thank him for sharing his personal insights here and wish him the bet of luck in returning back to school in-person next school year.


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