Are Kids Better or Worse Students Than They Were Ten Years Ago?

Within the past decade, the habits and routines of students have changed drastically. With the rapid evolution of technology and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning has become increasingly widespread through platforms such as Google Classroom and video-conferencing apps such as Zoom. Online learning has benefits and drawbacks, and its rise to becoming the main mode of education has positive and negative impacts on the learning environment. The isolation of quarantine and the difficulties of hybrid learning have further divided the two generations of students. The question remains: are kids better or worse students now than they were ten years ago?

Sophomore Abigail Weintraub doesn’t think so. She believes that students have abused modern technology and digital platforms which negatively impacted their education. “It’s great that we’re getting new advancements in technology,” she agrees, “But they tend to be exploited and used for the wrong reasons.” Weintraub brings up various examples, including ChatGPT, the ground-breaking AI model that has sparked countless debates. “People tend to rely on [ChatGPT] to do homework,” she explains, “It makes people lazier.”

Mrs. Gasparini, an English teacher who has worked in the district for many years, has a more neutral perspective. “Kids these days compared to ten years ago are pretty much the same,” she remarks. Yet, she would like people to remember the impact social media and the COVID-19 pandemic have on students today. “I think it’s important to not ignore the impact that Covid had on students, and the impact of the phone — the obsession with the phone. I think that they are problems for kids and their learning, both maybe having some interruptions with their education in middle school. I think it’s not the most tremendous difference, but I do think there is a discrepancy.”

Has the academic rigor of students decreased in the past decade? Were students performing better in school ten years ago? The majority believes so, but the circumstances faced by students today are entirely different from the ones faced by students ten years ago. Ultimately, there is no way to truly measure if one student body is better than the other.