By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota students have been switching from in-person to distance learning for nearly two years.

Sybil Zielinski, who started kindergarten in Minneapolis during the pandemic, doesn’t know anything different.

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“It’s kind of fun because you see everyone’s faces but spend time with your family at home,” Zielinski, in first grade, said.

Ethan Litman, a 16-year-old sophomore at Armstrong High School, enjoys distance learning because he likes working at his own pace, and the added sleep by cutting out his commute.

“In the digital era most of my contact with my friends happens over my phone anyways,” Litman said.

His sixth-grade sister, Nora, still gets up at the same time for distance learning because it’s difficult to get used to an earlier wakeup when they go back to school. She says group projects are challenging, and she misses her friends.

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(credit: CBS)

“At school, like we sit at lunch together or we talk during class,” Nora Litman said.

Shakopee High School senior Cole Leighton has gotten used to distance learning and working more independently. His younger brother, Chance Leighton, struggles doing math online. He’s in fourth grade at Jackson Elementary in Shakopee.

“Parents aren’t teachers, so it’s a harder for parents trying to do, you know, so many different things at once, also trying to teach their kid,” Cole Leighton said.

The move to distance learning is supposed to be temporary.

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“I want to go back because I like seeing my friends, and I think it’s easier in school to do your work with less distractions,” Chance Leighton said.

David Schuman