From classroom to class zoom

Junior+Savannah+Keaton+customizes+her+background+on+Zoom+to+a+fun+Christmas+theme

Junior Savannah Keaton customizes her background on Zoom to a fun Christmas theme

The first few weeks of school, Junior Savannah Keaton woke up at 6:30 am every weekday. She rushed to complete her morning routine in 40 minutes before racing out the door to get to school. Now her morning walk to class consists of the five steps it takes to get from her bed to her desk.

Keaton had originally chosen to return to brick-and-mortar learning, but after only about three weeks of being in school, she changed to exclusively e-learning. Worries for the health of her grandma is what pushed her to make the switch, wanting to choose the safest option for her and her family. Lenient following of school guidelines from some of her teachers was another thing that concerned her. “Some teachers weren’t really doing proper stuff, following all the guidelines,” she said. 

While Keaton had made the decision to go online, sophomore Amanda Cerrano had decided it was time to return to brick-and-mortar. Concerns about her grades were a deciding factor in her switch. Originally she had started off the school year online, but after only a couple weeks she returned to brick-and-mortar. She struggled to find the motivation to do her work and found it hard to concentrate. “It was really hard to do my work and find the time to submit it, Cerrano said. Even with the switch to Canvas from Edsby, she still found it difficult to focus while at home.  

Her mental health was another consideration, as the lack of socialization from quarantining was taking a toll. “I couldn’t socialize really, at least now I have some sort of human interaction besides my household. So it’s definitely been easier, she said. Cerrano doesn’t see herself returning to e-learning any time soon, unless she comes in contact with the virus. 

Despite the technological difficulties that come with staying at home, both students feel that a lot of their teachers are doing well in handling the two groups simultaneously. “Honestly, I think teachers have done a pretty good job of including online students, at least the teachers I have,” Keaton said. She noticed that many of her teachers have been using breakout rooms and coming up with creative ways to integrate them to lessons, such as facetiming classmates during a science lab so that she doesn’t miss out. Cerrano found though that some of her teachers were nicer to online students then they were to those in class. She said one of her teachers was super kind to her while online, but once she returned, that side of her switched.