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Putting the “distance” in learning

By Larry Ye and Nancy Zheng Oct. 15, 2020


Nicole Kim Art


On the eve of Santa Clara County’s announcement of travel restrictions in March, Junior Hanks Lin and his family flew back to their home country of Taiwan. On the same day, San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD) announced the termination of in-person learning.


H. Lin’s family decided to stay in Taipei, Taiwan, because Taiwan has significantly less COVID-19 cases than the U.S. According to Worldometer, Taiwan currently has 523 COVID-19 cases while the U.S. has over 7.7 million.


Junior Wells Lin is also currently living in Taipei, Taiwan; due to concerns of the pandemic’s progression in the U.S., his family decided that living together in Taiwan would be the safest option.


To sync their scheduling with Pacific Time in California, both students aim to go to sleep in the early afternoon.

As the time difference between Taipei and San Jose is 15 hours, H. Lin and W. Lin participate in online school throughout the night; for them, school starts at 10:55 p.m. and ends at 5:35 a.m. To sync their scheduling with Pacific Time in California, both students aim to go to sleep in the early afternoon. However, this has posed various difficulties, such as outside noises and natural daylight disrupting their sleeping and conflicts with schedules for local activities. Nevertheless, H. Lin and W. Lin both prefer the safety of Taiwan over the more convenient timing of online learning in San Jose.


“The hardest challenge is sleeping at the same time everyday, but through this experience I have learned to keep better track of my time and make schedules so I do not end up procrastinating and sleeping for only a few hours a day,” H. Lin said.


Meanwhile, Sophomore Patricia Zhang and her family are currently living in Silverthorne, Colo. COVID-19 cases in Colorado have also been less widespread than that of California, and more activities have been allowed to resume with precautions. For instance, in Colorado, Zhang is able to join volleyball clinics at a local community center and her sister is also able to train with her snowboarding team.


With internet access and a working technological device, students are able to keep up with school regardless of their location.

The time zone difference between California and Colorado is one hour, meaning that school starts at 8:55 a.m. for Zhang. With a less drastic time zone difference compared to Taiwan, Zhang faces fewer adversities studying outside of California.


“I like living in Colorado because I get an extra hour of sleep in the morning, and I am able to participate in more outdoor activities to relieve stress,” Zhang said.


All three students claim they have not experienced noticeable changes in academic performance despite their different locations, and attribute this to the format of distance learning: all classes and assignments function online. Therefore, with internet access and a working technological device, students are able to keep up with school regardless of their location.


Even before the pandemic, many students around the U.S. who were enrolled in exclusively online college courses attended class from abroad. According to Education Data, in the fall of 2017, more than a third of these students participated in their classes from a different state than their actual school was located in and nearly five percent of them studied from outside of the U.S. Now, because of the pandemic, more students are transitioning to this method of distance learning.

 

About the Contributors

Larry Ye

Staff Writer


Lawrence Ye is a sophomore at Leland High School and a staff writer for the Leland Charger Account. He likes to swim and travel and loves his pet dog named Meatball.









Nancy Zheng

Investigative Report Editor


Nancy Zheng is a junior at Leland High School and is the Investigative Report Editor and Ad Manager. She is an avid classical pianist and Chinese folkloric dancer of over 11 years. In her free time, she enjoys bullet journaling and obsessing over green tea/matcha.

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