“After School” – What Students Are Doing for Fun at Home

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Alex Gaines, Writer

You finish the last sentence of that LA assignment, and you’re done with online school for today. Well… now what?

You can’t go to your after school club or sports practice. You can’t go to the library to pick up a book or go and see a movie in the theater. You’re stuck inside your house. And it’s not like you have “home”work, either. That’s your schoolwork now.

Well, while some clubs may seem like they only can meet at school, some of them are still functioning at home. Science Olympiad students, such as Anna Ji, a 7th grader in Blue pod, who is still researching her topics of Anatomy and Physiology from her computer at home. “Ursus,” your newspaper, is still pushing out articles at home, too (like this one!).

Lots of students are on their phones much more than usual, too. Most kids are on social media, watching YouTube, and chatting with friends over popular apps like Houseparty and of course… Zoom.

Zoom now has jumped from 10 million users to over 200 million in just the past three months. This video chat platform lets you talk with up to 500 people and contains lots of cool features like virtual backgrounds and screen sharing. With all this possibility though, many are finding ways to join random Zoom meetings – something now called “Zoom Bombing.” Because of this safety issue, Westport students will have to stick to talking only with friends and family on Zoom; Westport has banned schools from using it for distance learning.

David Abbey, Westport’s Interim Superintendent, writes in an email: “ZOOM is not on the state’s approved list. ZOOM has not signed on to the state requirement that distance learning providers, and all vendors for that matter, adhere to the requirements that exist under the State’s Data Privacy Law.”

Students can take this extra time to do whatever they want, so… what specifically are they doing? Sorel Kennedy, A 7th grader in Blue Pod, “play[s] video games and craft stuff (drawing).” Many others are biking, watching TV, and texting. How long we will have this free choice isn’t certain, so use this time wisely because we don’t know when it will end.