Zoom classes will never compare to the experience of being able to sit in a classroom, face to face with a professor and your peers. With that being said, I've noticed that I have a bit of a difficult time being able to maintain my focus in my online classes. I have the ability to mute my microphone, turn off my camera and keep my phone within arms reach. I can walk away from my laptop, take less diligent notes, or choose not to take any notes at all. I have the freedom to direct my attention to things other than my classes, and in order to be successful, I know that I need to try my hardest and avoid abusing this freedom.
As I have more Zoom classes coming up next week, I've taken the time to think of a few ways that I can make the most of my online classroom experience. For starters, I will be turning my notifications off and putting my laptop on "Do Not Disturb." It is simply too easy for me to minimize my Zoom screen and pull up my messages in a different tab. In addition, I am going to try and do the same for my phone, or possibly even keep it in another room so that I am not tempted to waste time on it.
Second, I decided that I am going to create Word documents for each of my classes prior to our meetings, and have them pulled up and easily accessible on my screen. After all, if I can take the time to reply to a text message, I can take the time to jot down a few notes.
Lastly, I am going to do my best to prepare for online classes by doing my best to be seen on camera. When my professor can see what I am doing, I know that I will be far less likely to engage with distractions or walk away from my laptop. Though it is not solely a professor's responsibility to hold me accountable for paying attention, I realize that I need to take it upon myself if I want to create a better online learning experience.
Though this is never what we expected our college educations to look like at this point, we have no choice but to play the cards that we have been dealt. By working on these goals each week, I hope to make my Zoom classroom experience fulfilling, even if I cannot be sitting in a classroom right now.