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Op-Ed: Why Zoom Isn't So Bad

By: Emanuel Barkagan (11th Grade)

In March of last year, the novel coronavirus hit us at home. Schools across the nation, including Hebrew Academy, closed immediately. In lieu of in-person classes and lectures, all classes were switched to an online format over Zoom. It was a shock to everyone at first, and this shock resonated throughout the school year last year. Now that we seem to be coming to the end of our virtual journey, it is time to reflect on the sizable chunk of our recent high school experience that has been online.

The Hebrew Academy virtual school has been a success for the most part. Speaking from my own experience with Zoom, I feel that this online format has allowed us to enter into an environment that feels almost like an in-person experience. After the initial bumps of adjusting to the new system in March, I became more accustomed to using the online program. From there, it has been smooth sailing. 

This year, the transition came much more easily since I already had experience with learning over Zoom. Aside from the half hour global Zoom crash on the first day of school, it can be said that the Hebrew Academy online experience has been a pleasant one. While some may not enjoy virtual schooling, it is important to recognize how much of a normal school experience we have kept alive; even while online, every class has still been in session, clubs continue to run, and (to the dismay of some students) homework keeps being assigned.  

It is important to mention that many students, myself included, still prefer in-school learning. However, we as students have still been able to learn and thrive in this virtual environment even if it may not be our first choice. While we may not be meeting in the building, the Hebrew Academy spirit and environment has been kept alive through these challenging times.

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