Bumps in the road to online learning

Brinley Everson

Between all the lagging, crashing, and awkward breakout rooms, zoom is starting to make students lose their minds. Every day students go into their first hour class wondering the same things; “How’s my Wi-Fi connection?” and “Will my internet randomly cut out?” The answer to those questions varies day to day. 

The most annoying thing about this is that no one ever really knows what’s going to happen, as many often get kicked out of meetings five or ten minutes into class, even though the internet connection seemed to be just fine. Although all of that can be so frustrating and stressful, students appreciate that teachers have been pretty understanding, and it is important to remind yourself not to worry about the little things. 

At the end of the day, these little mishaps with zoom are just bumps in the road. Try to think of it this way: “At least I don’t have to be sitting in a breakout room right now.” Oh, breakout rooms. I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows that feeling when their teacher even mentions those dreadful words. Some students say their stomach drops, or their heart skips a beat, and I think both of those descriptions are very accurate. 

Now I will admit, the breakout rooms have been getting a little less awkward now that we’re nearing the end of the first quarter, but I honestly don’t think I know a single person that genuinely enjoys them. If you’re lucky enough to get put into a breakout room with your friends, I can see how that would be fun, but from personal experience, that seems to rarely ever happen. 

Students understand the importance of group work and being able to interact with peers, but they would love to see teachers give them the ability to choose their own groups, because life is already stressful enough these days.

Internet issues and really awkward breakout rooms can be pretty discouraging, but when push comes to shove, embracing these rather tumultuous experiences may be the best thing to do for the sake of our sanity.