Review of Zoom

COVID-19 has affected education greatly across the United States. However, while Hackley has been closed for weeks, the school is using Zoom to conduct distance learning. While virtual learning is not ideal, many students have enjoyed this platform and think that it is a great option to use now. Zoom has received mostly positive reviews, with students rating it an average of 3.8 out of 5 on a survey that the Dial sent out.

Zoom has many distinct features that are enjoyed by the student body including breakout rooms, screen sharing ability, and the overall ability to connect with fellow peers and teachers. The breakout rooms are a feature on Zoom where teachers can send small groups of students into separate rooms to work as a group on a given task. Many students like this feature because it allows them to interact with their peers and teachers in small groups.

“I’m a fan of the breakout rooms. It creates the same thing we do in class [in person] where we divide up into groups and can cover different topics,” said sophomore, Niky Dhakad.

Another feature students like is the screen-sharing ability which allows teachers to share their screens with the whole class over Zoom, reenacting the in-person class experience of projecting on the smartboard or writing on the whiteboard.

“I think it’s really helpful especially in classes like math where the teacher can share the note sheet so everyone can see exactly how to do the problems,” said Freshman Sami Rowbottom.

While Zoom has several great features that elevate the level of learning during this time of social distancing, some students think there are disadvantages to using Zoom. The most notable one being that many students feel that it is hard to stay on task when using an online platform. Sophomore Niky Dhakad said, “It is easy to get distracted. I think that is a thing that a lot of teachers have to deal with.”

Class on Zoom proves different from a normal classroom because it is much easier for students to lose their focus. With the mute and turn camera off features, classes lose liveliness and make it difficult for teachers to facilitate discussions. While breakout rooms have been a useful feature for teachers to make the classes more engaging, Niky also said, “I think they [breakout rooms] can be used more in language and English classes to be more productive. In discussion-based classes, they make classes more interesting.”