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Yoshiko Iwai, MS, MFA, class of 2024 UNC School of Medicine student writes opinion piece on Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Scientific American.

I woke up an hour late Wednesday morning, and by the time I had thrown on a sweatshirt, prepared my glass of Emergen-C, and logged onto Zoom, my class had been going on for 15 minutes. The night before I had taken cough syrup for my seasonal cold, and this was the first day my school switched to virtual instruction. Over the course of the three-hour workshop, I noticed my puffy eyes on the panel of faces and became self-conscious. I turned off my video. I became distracted with the noise of sirens outside and muted my speaker, only to then realize: by the time you’re done muting-and-unmuting, the right moment to join the conversation has already passed. I found myself texting on my computer, stepping away to make coffee, running to the bathroom, writing a couple e-mails, and staring at my classmate’s dog in one of the video panels. I don’t think my experience is unique; I imagined similar situations playing out in virtual offices and classrooms across the world.

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