Zoom application on my smartphone. (Frank Rocha/Lariat)
The Pros and Cons about how Zoom is affecting student learning. Zoom is a video communication software created by Eric Yuan in 2011. According to the Zoom press release in the beginning of March the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2020 (fiscal 2020), revenue has hit $622.7 million, a significant jump from $151.9 million generated in fiscal 2018. Due to schools transfering online the past couple of months, schools have turned to using Zoom for its simplicity and convenience for joining classes.
Since transitioning online, there have been pros and cons to the new system for students. Student pros include being able to learn at home/within their own environment, learning at their own pace, and being able to go back on recorded lectures.
“I enjoy using Zoom because I am able to go back on recorded material when I am doing homework,” said Gabrielle Marquez, Mount Saint Mary’s University student. “The software is also easy to access and has some fun settings like inputting a virtual background. I have also found it personally easier to pay attention in class and retain information because I can look back on the lecture.”
Some cons that come with transition online can be that students feel overwhelmed. They are in a distracting environment, or they simply cannot pay attention when staring at a screen and learn better through face-to-face interaction.
“At times I am able to pay attention in class but at times I also get distracted by what is going on around me,” Kaitlyn Mikami, Irvine Valley College student. “I have a big family so there is always something going on and it can be loud so I cannot focus. I have tried my best with the new transition and have found that recording lectures and referencing them is helpful.”
Students using Zoom are also able to group up with other classmates from the class and work together on projects and assignments. The software is versatile to anyone using it and has made the transition easier amongst schools.
Since the transition it has seemed that most professors have been able to adapt with their material to the new situations. Professors are becoming more lenient on assignments and understand the circumstances and have addressed that anyone going through a hard time are able to reach out and communicate with them.
Zoom has been an ideal alternative as a student since there is no other realistic alternative. It can be discouraging to learn at times especially if the best way for the student to learn is in a hands on concept.
Depending on the student, it can be the better outcome due to the result of the pandemic and for others they can struggle, but there are many resources the school provides to help with learning. Saddleback College provides many resources to help throughout the pandemic and they also announced that they are loaning laptops out to students that need it.
The online transition would not last forever either, so students just need to adjust at their own pace to the new reality. So while Zoom has its cons due to students having problems with how they retain information, it also has many pros like simply being a stepping stone for students to continue their education.