Alexis Alarcon- Research and Evaluation Fellow
Like many across the globe, the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the immediate closure of schools, and interruptions to our day to day lives. Fortunately, at my school, teachers and school administrators worked tirelessly to ensure that students could still receive a quality education from home. At first, I was apprehensive about online school, but I have since come to terms with my new virtual classroom. Getting up at 8 am as opposed to 6 am is so much better, and no longer having my long commute to school is a relief.
Zoom has been our primary tool for learning, along with our “portal” where teachers can post homework, in-class assignments, etc. I will be entering my fourth week of online classes on April 20, continuing in this manner until the end of the school year. Zoom has been incredibly useful as a classroom, although it can be susceptible to hackers and other threats.
Personally, I am more of a hands-on learner, and being unable to learn in that manner is one of the downsides of online education. These unprecedented times have caused my school, which typically champions students with different learning styles, to cram us into a theoretical box suddenly.
Nonetheless, this is hardly something to complain about, with the abundant resources that my school and community has to offer. We went for our regular spring break, then allotted two days for teachers to make final preparations, and then we began online classes on April 1. This smooth transition from conventional classrooms to online classrooms is one of the many things I have to be thankful for, as this pandemic tears apart life for so many others. For many students across the country, online learning is a challenge, and many families or school districts do not have access to resources to provide at-home education to students.
While COVID-19 and social distancing is little more than an inconvenience for my family and me, please remember that there are people living paycheck-to-paycheck who might not have the resources to support their families through this pandemic. Kindness and sensitivity will go a long way, now more than ever.