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The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • Students and faculty face hours of Zoom class and meetings. Photo by Evie Doolittle '23

Zoom and Learning in the Time of COVID

Evie Dootlittle '22 Assistant Features Editor
Using media platforms, like Zoom, to conduct school presents opportunities and challenges as the Hopkins student body adapts to a new normal.
Participating during class is difficult for those who feel less motivated to speak up over Zoom. For Graley Turner ‘20, Head of the Mental Health Awareness Club, adapting to online school poses many challenges. Turner’s “classes are a lot quieter, and discussions are usually awkward and need prompting from the teacher.”

At first, Turner found it difficult to be productive. “
I used my bed for almost everything (homework, school, sleep) and it was hard to differentiate these times. I found that because I associated my bed and my room with unproductivity and rest, I was more motivated to do that rather than actually work. So, I’ve been trying to work in a separate place where I can focus.” 

In addition to struggling with a lack of motivation for work, Turner acknowledges the challenges that come from heavy reliance on social media to stay in touch with friends. Though she thinks social media should be used “in moderation,” Turner believes it is a useful tool, especially for seniors. “Personally, I’ve found that social media has been great for making friends who will be in my class in college and it has helped me gain more closure regarding the end of my high school career and more hope for the future.”

Agreeing with Turner, Biology teacher Dr. Kellie Cox describes how important online platforms are to retain elements of normal life,
“It takes a lot of energy and innovation to move from ‘normal’ teaching to distance learning. But once this new digital method is established and comfortable, I couldn't imagine how we would navigate the pandemic without it.”

Cox feels proud of how Hopkins is adapting , saying, “Given the circumstances, I think it's pretty amazing. We [Hopkins] have created a digital educational ecosystem that we should feel proud of…Compared to how other schools are handling the epidemic, I think we are crushing it. ”

School Clinical Psychologist Dr. Joshua Brant believes there are benefits to online learning, “I think Zoom and online learning forces teachers to think more about the content they want their students to know and how to deliver it in a more concise and meaningful way.” Brant continues: “Even though we are good at adapting, [it] takes time because we have to get used to doing things differently.” However, Brant also acknowledges how much harder it is for students to engage online while stuck at home. “I think that it's much more challenging to communicate in a Zoom classroom. I know it has been awkward for me as I rely on being able to read non-verbal cues and I cannot do that as well over video.”

In terms of communication with friends and classmates during quarantine, Cox remains hopeful. “It's definitely more difficult, but as the strangeness and novelty wear off, there's a greater chance for connection and more natural communication.”

In the meantime, Brant suggests students utilize this opportunity to get outside, the advice he is personally ascribing to:  “I have been working really hard on my golf game. I am an avid golfer and the free time has been doing wonders for my putting!”
 
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Julia Kosinski

Managing Editor 
Teddy Glover 

News
Anushree Vashist
Anjali Subramanian
Aanya Panyadahundi
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Emmett Dowd
Vivian Wang
Evangeline Doolittle
 
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Juan Lopez

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Luca Vujovic

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The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
     
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
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