As the semester gets rolling, certain struggles become more obvious.
Before school actually started, I was feeling quite confident that I would be ready for what was to come. After all, I have a whole setup in my room with a desk and a computer. What could go wrong? A lot, apparently.
As it turns out, taking on a full schedule requires one to sit for long periods of time. After a week or so, I was getting tired of sitting in my same chair, at my same desk all day.
Unfortunately, my laptop broke earlier this year. So, when I would normally go out and sit at the park or the library, I was confined to my room.
Many students don’t have a laptop at all. They are sitting at their local libraries for hours or in their rooms, like I am.
Additionally, some students don’t have computers at all. If for whatever reason, they don’t have access to their local libraries, Kemp Library or the transportation to go to either, these students are limited to their phones all day.
Another issue I was not expecting to come up was my WiFi connection. Now that my brother and I are both going to school from home and my father is working from home, the strain on our WiFi has been intense.
What previously worked just fine, now causes my Zoom sessions to lack every minute or so and for downloads to take forever.
Living in a middle class household, I have commodities that many other students do not. If I am struggling like this, I can just imagine how others are.
Because the decision to go completely online didn’t come until August, many of us were not prepared for class from home.
Technology and access goes hand in hand with money. If the money is not available for the technology needed for this format of education, the students are the ones who suffer.
Speaking from my experience, my notes are lacking in detail because of the lags. I have to re-read my textbooks over and over in order for the words on the screen to sink in.
Accessibility makes it easier to learn. It inspires motivation and an environment of preparedness in students, especially in young students.
Without this, students are left to flounder with their schoolwork.
And yes, many professors are accommodating their students as best as they can, but is that going to be enough for a student doing all of their work on their phone or on a borrowed computer?
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