No one knew our lives were going to have limits to things we can do, the amount of people that can be in a store, or even how close we can be to our friends. We had no idea that a pandemic would sweep the nation this year and we’d have to stay home most of the time. This led to adults not going to work and kids not going to school, physically that is. Students now have to learn and go to school online through the platform Zoom.
Zoom has its fair share of features that make the app very useful for school. Some people find it useful, while others don’t. One of the main concerns is the option of having cameras on.
Marvin Madamba, a senior at Rancho Dominguez said, “I think cameras should be optional and as students we should have the right to choose and do things within our limits.”
Madamba believes that there are other ways to improve the app. One of these ways is simply changing the accessibility of the app and how secure it is. Nevertheless he thinks it is a good app to use, but would prefer in person learning as it keeps him focused and driven.
In contrast, Junior Ignacio Mendoza declared that “ it shouldn’t be mandatory because there can be background distractions and students can stop paying attention due to those distractions.”
Unlike Marvin, Ignacio Mendoza said he wouldn’t change anything about Zoom.
Another senior from Rancho Dominguez, Jonathan Servin, stated,” (Cameras) shouldn’t be mandatory because students would mess around and the teacher would get distracted and not be able to teach the class.”
Servin along with many others agree with Madamba in that learning would be more effective in person. He believes that both the teacher and the student would be more encouraged to engage with each other, and that being virtual creates a barrier. This raises the question as to how much students are actually engaged.
Ms. Moulton, a science and engineering at Rancho Dominguez said “Since all work is technically ‘homework’ now, I think students are doing more of their homework online versus regular school.”
Student and teacher engagement is obviously something concerns all of us. Some feel the chance to be more involved, but others don’t. For Servin, the work may be easier, but there is really no learning happening.
“It has a lot of great features like chat and share screen options, but some work against the teachers and students like the authentication that have made it difficult for some students to log in,” Moulton added.
She would also love it if she could give awards to students through Zoom that they could post on their screens like the “clap” emojis. She thinks little crowns for great attendance, blue ribbons for participation and other neat badges would help make the class more fun and interactive.
On the other hand, Madamba has grown to like zoom better even with the flaws it has. One of the most common being Zoom bombing, which is random people coming into our class, distracting everyone and causing a mess. Still, Zoom fulfills its purpose.
Zoom is just something that we are going to have to get used to in these times just like many other things in this pandemic. It’s not going to be easy for some people and it might be a walk in the park or others. At the end of the day we are going to have to work with what we have and that is online through Zoom.