By Adrian Silva ’21 Edited by Arlette Carino ’21
It’s been almost 8 months since students have been inside a classroom. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many schools across the world have been closed to protect students and their families from Covid-19. Google classroom and Zoom are just one of many services used to ensure that students won’t be missing out on their education throughout the pandemic. Google Classroom provides teachers a way to organize students’ assignments. Zoom provides a way for students and teachers to be in a group call to simulate a classroom. I believe these services are a great substitute for in person class.
In my opinion, when it comes to online classes, during times like these, the most important thing is making sure it is accessible. What would be the point of online classes if only specific groups of students were able to do it. Thousands of students are receiving tech from schools to aid in remote learning. As stated here, “Thousands of California students who lack access to the internet or computers at home will soon have the tools they need to get online as their schools remain closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.” In addition, Pritzker had given students computers that were used during in person school.
In order for Google Classroom to be a good substitute for in person class, it has to be available to everyone. California schools have provided chromebooks which use Google’s Chrome OS that is meant to be used with Google Classroom. Without everyone being able to access Google Classroom, it would leave many unable to attend any kind of school and will be detrimental to their learning.
Another thing that adds to the accessibility of Google Classroom is that it is easy to use. Everything on Google Classroom is very organized as it organizes your work by class and provides a way for teachers to add deadlines so students can always know when something is due.
Another big reason why services like Google Classroom and Zoom are a good substitute is it being very widespread. Since so many people use these services for school, it only adds to its credibility and reliability to keep students engaged as stated here, “Google Classroom, a free service teachers use to send out assignments and communicate with students, has doubled active users to more than 100 million since the beginning of March.” Having so many active users gives the website credibility. Google Classroom is also free, giveiving more accessibility so every student can use it, no matter their financial situation.
A counter argument that people often use is that Google Classroom and Zoom don’t have the same personal communication from student and teacher so students won’t be able to learn as well, but it is in fact the contrary. Students have more time to talk one on one with their teachers as they can set up virtual meetings with them and can message them after school hours if they have any questions.
In the end, Google Classroom and Zoom are not meant to replace regular class, but, given our situation, is a good substitute for the time being.