What’s so great about Zoom?
By Shianne Taylor
Zoom, the online application that we all quickly came to know, but I won’t say love, has its advantages and disadvantages.
It cannot be denied that Zoom has helped and allowed many organizations and companies to continue functioning during the coronavirus pandemic.
When everything in the United States began to shut down last year at the end of February and early March, various businesses, schools and institutions needed a way to finish out the year or a way to simply stay afloat for a couple months so the people thought.
Clearly, the pandemic lasted longer than many anticipated. Zoom became the newest form of face-to-face communication that had the capacity to not only host classes, but business meetings, therapy sessions, church services and a host of many other things.
Zoom is free, for the most part, to everyone. It is easy to learn, and it is easily accessible.
When colleges and universities shut down halfway through Spring 2020, teachers had no other choice but to teach their students strictly online through video instruction. If teachers wanted to teach in real time, Zoom was their best option.
Whether or not to return to school in Fall 2020 was once a hot topic debate.
University presidents, health officials, even teachers and students did not know how that would work due to the rapidly spreading virus and, if they proceeded like the previous semester, how effective that would be.
As a result, CU is offering many hybrid class options for their students.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 20% of college students have a hard time accessing technology for online learning. Granted, that percentage varies from school to school.
This is a problem for schools that are using Zoom and other online platforms to conduct regular class sessions and lectures.
Online instruction in Zoom has additional disadvantages.
According to the American Psychological Association, one of the disadvantages is that students who attend underprivileged schools, particularly ones in communities of color, depend on schools for mental health care, like counseling.
Without in-person learning, this disadvantage creates even more problems for students and their mental health.
The American Psychological Association also indicated that remote instruction creates a lack of social development and academic motivation.
I can only speak for myself, but I can attest to the lack of academic motivation since most of my classes are taught via Zoom.
Many factors play into a decrease in academic motivation. For me, it is because the camera can only see so much, and I could be doing lots of other things while it appears I am focused.
There is also the fact that some teachers do not even require the camera to be on.
Though these are disadvantages for students, there are also drawbacks for teachers as well.
I try to keep in mind that this is not only an adjustment for the students, but the teachers too, and the fact is, some teachers are just not as engaging on Zoom as they would be in-person.
I would presume that it is harder to teach without student feedback whether that be through body language or verbal communication.
Despite Zoom’s disadvantages, the software has allowed students, teachers and others to further their success through these difficult times.
Cameron also has several resources available to assist in student learning.
Students have access to field-specific tutoring through the Math Lab in Burch Hall, room 104, and the Center for Writers in Nance-Boyer, room 2060, or tutoring in all disciplines through the Center for Academic Success in Nance-Boyer, room 1008, or tutor.com.
The CU Succeed Series is also available on Blackboard under the Student Development course to help students gain skills needed to get through their academic careers.
For more information about academic and campus resources, students can contact the Academic Advising Center in North Shepler, room 113, by calling (580) 581-6741.
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