CORAL SPRINGS, FL – What is online school really like?

School is so radically different from how it was before, and it looks like this new norm will be long-lasting. Case-in-point: you can now buy “Zoom University” merchandise online.

There’s no lunch with friends, no chats as you walk from class to class, and no meetings after school for clubs and sports. We wake up, hit “join meeting,” and spend the day in front of a screen.

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When I originally got the email from my school administration that classes would be held online for the foreseeable future, I wasn’t surprised. It was the practical, safe thing to do. However, I truly had no clue what it would be like to experience all of my classes over Zoom, a video conferencing platform that we’re all too familiar with at this point. As a high school senior, I was worried.

Despite not having to move at all, online school is surprisingly draining. This is especially true during technology lapses; students living in Coral Springs and Parkland intermittently experience Wi-Fi outages that can last for hours, students who have returned abroad struggle to stay awake for classes that meet in what is the middle of the night for them, and far too many of my classmates have asked me what the “weird buzzing sound” coming from my computer is. Unfortunately, my computer fan is built close to the microphone, the fan produces a buzzing sound that the microphone picks up on, and I am powerless to fix it.

As it relates to classes, I’ve learned that Zoom works very well for some classes and not so much for others. I’ve found that classes already reliant on technology or discussion-based courses have had relatively seamless transitions, but I prefer to be taught calculus in person, and a class trying to play instruments together over Zoom is just not as effective.

Given the experience of taking nine classes online, I now know that I could definitely take an online college course, which is good news. I’ve also learned that I do not want to, although that might be in store.

I have, however, seen some very interesting ways that other students have made light of the situation: sleeping on camera, playing video games, and even being outside playing basketball.

To every student out there, remember that online learning is only temporary, but it should still be taken seriously and made the most of as it becomes a larger part of our educational experience. We’ve worked too hard to let our education go to waste.

Daniel Ardity is a senior at North Broward Prep who lives in Coral Springs.

 

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