Ever since the end of spring break, when COVID became a problem in the U.S., we have had to trade in-person classroom learning for online learning. The platform most used by our school has been Zoom. Although we are lucky to be living in a time when this technology is available, online learning brings with it a lot of challenges.
First, being on Zoom unfortunately can in no way replicate the classroom experience. Having your classmates’ names on a screen is not the same as having them physically in class, listening to their questions and working with them on projects. I miss getting to see everyone and making random conversation with strangers who are assigned to sit next to me. Second, breakout rooms cannot replicate the feeling of being a part of a group.
In breakout rooms, a fair amount of time is spent figuring out what we are supposed to be doing in the breakout rooms and waiting for the breakout room to close once the discussion is over.
Last, being on Zoom makes it harder to learn material that would be easier to learn in class. Since our classes have been shortened, teachers can no longer use activities as a way to reinforce learning and rely on video lectures. These lectures are mandatory to watch, which is challenging after having class online all day and having homework in front of a computer screen at night. It feels as if we aren’t able to learn the material as in-depth as we did before.
All in all, it is too much screen time and I implore teachers to find other ways that students can learn without staring at screens all day and night. I understand it is hard to try to replicate what school once was and I thank all of the teachers and staff for putting in all of the work they have to help us through this challenging time.