Zoom and Distance Learning: Student POV

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Ashlyn Cuellar taking notes for a class at her home in Hughson.

Miranda Reynaga , Staff Reporter

The Stanislaus County Office of Education has declared it is not safe enough to return to class this Fall due to the Covid-19 pandemic. School districts have resorted to online distance learning and while it wasn’t the first option, it has been successful as a substitute for in-person learning. The Hughson Unified School District has issued a distance learning plan for every school, which has been in cycle with its students since August 12. There have been some difficulties, and students and teachers have faced challenges to create a quality learning experience.

On top of the challenges that come with distance learning the recent wildfires and power outages have added extra obstacles to the students learning environment. One of the top issues here has been with wifi connectivity. Many students have experienced connectivity issues while attempting to log onto class zoom sessions. Ashlyn Cuellar, a freshman at Hughson High, is one of the many who have experienced technical issues with wifi. “It’s alright at times but sometimes I’m unable to do anything, because the wifi will randomly mess up & causes me to miss a class or do something important like turn in my work, continue a meeting, & saving my work.” Cuellar also stated that she is not able to join every zoom call and most zoom calls don’t run as smoothly as expected. “Sometimes everybody will freeze, or if you have your chromebook not in full screen, the screen is black. Other times everything lags when they talk.” Jesenya Arredondo, a freshman at Hughson High, has experienced the same issues. “It is going good so far minus some setbacks on other peoples part but overall good wifi.” She, along with many others, hope the wifi issue gets resolved soon. 

Students were asked where they do their work, and the majority answered in their bed or on their desk. A few students mentioned they do their school work outside, to find a calm and peaceful place; mostly to get away from siblings. Ashlyn Cuellar says, “I actually do work in two spots. In my backyard for the band since most of my family is in the house sleeping at that time and I don’t like to make the house very loud. But I do the rest of my classes in my living room so I have more space and so I can ask anyone in my family if I need help faster.” 

Now, when it comes to homework, students freak out when there is too much. At the moment, the workload has not been that big. But many students stress out when they are unable to turn an assignment in due to wifi issues. Many have declared that they stay up late just to finish assignments. “Sometimes it’s a little too much, sometimes I wont get done till like six in the afternoon.” 

Many are not a big fan of this routine. Jesenya Arredondo says, “I am not a big fan of distance learning to be honest. I don’t like it, the main reason is because with distance learning I can”t leave the house to go to school.” The majority of students interviewed have found it very stressful and tiring. Students are realizing in-person learning keeps students engaged and that they have an easier time understanding new concepts. Even with the possibility of staying nice and cozy at home, returning to school is what most students wish. “I definitely prefer in person learning, I really really want to do in-person learning.”