Technology: Indispensable in a Lockdown

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Emilio Escorcia In a video conference with Jose Jaramillo preparing in the morning to start a philosophy project assigned in distance learning.

Jose Jaramillo

In Colombia, we’ve been in mandatory quarantine for nearly six months. Since it began, we’ve been functioning virtually as students and as people.

TCS closed its doors in March, along with most other schools, universities, businesses, and companies. This quarantine has affected many because continuity and daily routines were interrupted. In this case, schools are the only exception. Many schools around the world have implemented virtual tools in order for students to maintain this continuity with school and their learning. Also, schools have used this tool to keep in touch with their pupils and to help them adapt to social distancing in the best way possible. They have really shown how a school is more than a building.

Zoom and the other platforms that we are using during this lockdown for distance-learning were kind of confusing at first, but after a while, we got used to them. Another problem was that teachers couldn’t plan virtual classes correctly, as the link they sent us often failed. Therefore, many students were absent. Also, teachers don’t know how much work is “fair” to do in our homes so many students were complaining about the workload. This has caused students to prefer being present at school due to the fact that the workload is lighter.

“The transition from the physical to the virtual world has been very difficult because the university and the professors didn’t count on this migration and to start working using video conferences. This change has been really difficult but it has helped a lot in maintaining the continuity of classes,”  Juan Torres, a student at the Universidad de Antioquia, said.

Technology has helped me stay sane during quarantine, because I can still keep in touch with my friends. I can study online for around 30% of my day, and then to move on by talking with my friends through Zoom. Using social media also takes another 40% of my day, and I use the other 30% to rest and exercise. All these activities (except for resting) require some sort of technology. 

“It helps in getting me in contact with teachers and other classmates, basically to maintain the processes and to keep learning, also it helps to communicate any doubts I have, also it is a great tool to maintain active and in that social contact through technology,” Torres said.

During this quarantine, the school has used Zoom as a tool to keep classes as normal as possible. This way we didn’t lose two months of school; instead, we used our time through the quarantine to study and finish our school year. This has benefited everyone, because this way we are more productive during the lockdown, and we have something that will keep us busy. By always being occupied, we are not tempted nor desperate to go out.

“Mark Steed, Headteacher at Kellett School in Hong Kong, is using Google Hangouts to connect with one of his classes. There are many tools built right into each of the different ecosystems that so many schools and young people use to ensure that learning can continue,” Mark Anderson, an ICT Evangelist Journalist, said.

Technology has been of great help during this quarantine, as not only has it helped us maintain continuity in the academic aspect, but has also helped us maintain our mental health. It also has helped businesses to keep doors open or to help them develop new marketing ideas. Technology has always been a great help for the human race and at this moment it has been put to the test.

“It helps with the continuity of the academic process in these moments of lockdown and with the pandemic going on. Many problems have emerged from the migration between physicality to technology or in reality to the video conference because classes are not virtual and are more in video conferences,” Torres said.