To Zoom or Not to Zoom?


Catherine Steele '23, Staff Writer

Despite feeling exhausted and having a cold, I forced myself to attend school. If I stayed home, I would fall behind, which for certain subjects would be worse than going to school unwell. Suffering through the school day, all I could think about was how much I wished I could be home rather than in person, struggling to do work and fearing I may get others sick. 

The option to Zoom again would be highly beneficial. It would allow students to attend class when unable to be at school physically. Zoom effectively lets students and teachers share screens and messages, making communication and collaboration efficient from different locations. Additionally, questions can be asked at the moment, eliminating the hassle of finding times outside of class to meet with teachers. 

According to a survey I shared with our Upper School, 95 percent of students prefer to attend school in person rather than online. However, if presented with an obstacle that would prohibit one from going to school, 70 percent of students think Zoom should be an option. 

Numerous reasons could prevent one from going to school: sports injuries, COVID, or even feeling too tired for in-person learning. Myles Seed 23’ said that Zoom may be needed “when one may not be able to handle coming to school.” Students would be at ease knowing that if they needed a break or “mental health day,” they could Zoom rather than miss school.

When introduced to the question of whether Zoom should be an option, Sarah Steele ‘25, said, “If someone were sick, they should not go to school but stay home and Zoom instead.” An anonymous student also agreed that even though they prefer in-person learning, “Zoom is better than missing multiple classes.” Students should not have to choose between going to school sick and putting others at risk, or skipping school entirely and falling behind. 

To be as “Covid safe as possible,” some students believe we should decide for ourselves whether or not we want to go to school. A student may Zoom because, as an anonymous student said, “they feel uncomfortable” with the idea of being in person. Others have said that they “fear” getting an at-risk family member sick. 

The school has purposely limited Zoom to those with pre-approved medical issues in an attempt to return to a normal routine. Almost all of the students against the Zoom option were also in agreement with the school’s decision to attempt to go back to “normal” learning circumstances. This is one of the reasons why the school has limited Zoom only to those with pre-approved medical issues.

Although Zoom is an effective alternative way to learn, it is less engaging than being inside a classroom. Additionally, while at home, there would be no teacher to monitor students. Macy Millones 23’ said that both “cheating and lack of focus [are] prevalent over Zoom.” One could be easily distracted or tempted to cheat without any supervision and a laptop in front of them. 

Some students also claimed Zoom disturbs the classroom dynamic or messes up the “environment.” For this reason, many think that everyone should be in person. It makes the school feel more like a community with everyone physically there.

Zoom was, and can again be, a tool to help students stay caught up with work while unable to be at school. Having access to Zoom would result in fewer absences or missing assignments and healthier, less stressed students.