WhyFi?

By Gregory Marzano


As a result of the pandemic, the world has turned to the internet as a way to effectively socialize, complete work, and have fun. Without the internet, many people's lives would be shut down and it would be difficult to accomplish goals. It has allowed the world to continue on even during a pandemic where social distancing is necessary.


Due to the school’s transition to hybrid learning, NHP’s community has had to change the way they do their work. Starting with pens, pencils, and paper in elementary school, students and teachers have now switched to completing assignments on their electronic devices. Teachers have had to switch to a new way of distributing and collecting assignments and many students have switched from taking notes in a binder or notebook to taking notes online in OneNote. Many of these programs save the data in large cloud-based servers.


Cloud-based storage has many benefits over storing files locally on a hard drive or other storage devices. Hard drives are known to fail after a certain period of time, which may cause data loss if the files are not saved in another location. It is also very beneficial for people who use multiple devices since they can access their files from any other device connected to the internet.


Cloud-based programs also pose many challenges. Although many are able to access data and documents on any device, users are still required to have an internet connection, which might not be accessible wherever they go. They also have storage limits, and depending on how much data people plan to store, it may result in users having to store their data and files in other places.


However, the pandemic has certainly taught teachers and students alike the power of technology. New Hyde Park Memorial was fortunate enough to be well-acquainted with iPads before remote learning, so many were already familiar with accessing assignments through an app like Schoology or receiving messages through Remind. Now with the addition of Google Classroom, the process has become even easier and everything is in one place for the most part. The updates and enhancements of Google Classroom have made the learning experience even better because it keeps tasks organized and reminds students of any assignments.


Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie, @jammin_with_jelly

Numerous teachers and students express frustrations about technological glitches interfering with lessons.


Like all things, technology has its limitations and poses big challenges, especially when it comes to remote learning. Recently, teachers and students have been experiencing issues with the Wi-Fi connection between their iPads, Macbooks, and smart TVs that are used in the classrooms. Teachers have been unable to connect their iPads and Macbooks to the TVs without virtual meetings experiencing issues. The teachers' microphones were picking up the sound emitted by the TV creating an echo and the videos of students at home did not present smoothly. This negatively impacts the students because they may miss out on key information.


“I’ve had to ask my teachers to repeat things that they have said to us because the audio cut out. When the connection is especially bad, it makes it hard to learn the material that we are being taught because I’m unable to hear the teacher clearly,” said junior Ella Tam.


Source by Olivia Wong

On one rainy day in November, the school Wi-Fi was not working and students could barely hear their teachers on the Google Meet. This audio is from Mr. Galvin's AP Government and Politics class.


The transition to online learning has also been difficult for teachers. Teaching through online platforms presented many obstacles when it comes to classroom discussions. Some students at home have been unable to hear students in the classroom clearly, limiting the effectiveness of these discussions.


“I thrive when I am around other students inside the classroom. Their contribution to classroom discussions drives the conversations to the next level and truly raises the quality and richness of the dialogue. In addition, their insightful comments and thought-provoking questions continually help push the class to higher levels of understanding. Communication and feedback are important aspects of my classes. If I feel that the students are not understanding the material being taught because they are not physically present inside the classroom, then I need to reassess and find alternative ways to ask the same question,” said English teacher Mr. Stencel.


Not only have people become dependent on Wi-Fi in schools, but they also depend on it in their daily lives. So many people here rely on technology to contact their loved ones who live far away from New Hyde Park. As a result, people around the world have turned to the internet as a way to stay connected and continue their lives during the pandemic.