Photography by Jackie Veliz
As the coronavirus takes the world by storm and schools shut down, teachers and students alike have to quickly adapt to a new way of learning. Teachers have to transfer their curriculum online with an extremely fast turn-around, and for some, it has been a challenge. So an important question remains… How are they doing it and are these methods working?
One of the main and most obvious ways is Google’s famous Google Classroom. This is personally my favorite. It has an easy-to-use UI and there is a little to zero learning curve. It blends seamlessly with Google Docs and all of their other services, and it is shockingly simple to turn in assignments. Some teachers prefer to submit work through School Loop, this may be easier for teachers for grading, but it is much more complicated for students. Compared to Google Classroom, teachers need to leave relatively detailed instructions on School Loop on how to submit work. What puts the nail in the coffin is the fact that it doesn’t have a cloud drive like Google. If you have work saved and you download it on a file on one of your computers, but accidentally forget to submit it or you need to add some final touches, it is unfortunately impossible. This is because the work is only downloaded on the device you created the Google Document or Word Document. When it comes to making a neat “stream” of work that acts as the social hub of Google Classroom. Google Classroom boats excellent simplicity and usability for students, it is Google Classroom all the way and by a huge margin.
For students that have questions and teachers who may want to really focus on a subject, it can be helpful to hold video conferences. One of the main apps that have taken hold across Las Lomas is Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing app in which everyone can talk to each other at the same time. Worse than Microsoft’s Skype and on par with Apple’s facetime app, Zoom has little features that make it stand out, yet it has surged to be one of the front-runners. Zoom has an unnecessarily annoying system to start a call: the initiator of the meeting has to provide others with a long, Kahoot-like meeting ID as well as a password, also provided by the meeting initiator. Many students and teachers would be soothed if they would switch to Skype and be delighted with its simplicity and easy-to-use UI. During this turbulent time, students really need something to work.