Ways to Stay Connected

Ways+to+Stay+Connected

Due to the recent quarantine, people are using apps in order to stay in touch and connect with their friends. Some of these apps include: snapchat, zoom, game pigeon, and even Netflix party.

Netflix Party

Netflix Party is a Chrome extension that has experienced more use due to the recent social distancing precautions. The extension allows students to enjoy movies or television shows alongside their friends, without being in the same room. 

The extension is simple to install, but there is a catch. To use it, students need to have Google Chrome, which is not the automatic search engine for some computers. However, the school issued Chrome books, as well as students personal computers have chrome as an official browser. This makes it easy for students to find the extension. 

The other catch is that everyone participating in the “party” must  have the extension, this causes confusion amongst the groups.

 Although, once logged onto the party, it is smooth sailing. The users are then able to watch whatever they please with their friends and take part in a live chat with them. The host is also able to change who can control the movie or show watched. This means  everyone can’t pause the movie when they please. 

“I’m pretty bad with computers but after someone explained to me how to use it, it was easy to figure out!” senior Maya Johnson said.

Overall, Netflix Party is a viable option for those who want to keep their tradition of movie nights, or binging of that one television show consistent. While it is sometimes not user-friendly, it is a great way to follow social distancing rules as well as stay connected with friends. 

Snapchat

Another popular social app is Snapchat. Many teens used it prior to the quarantine as a quick and easy way of communication. Users send pictures called “snaps” to their friends, often accompanied by fun stickers or text. This app is great for communication since it offers snaps, chats, which are similar to texting, phone calls, and video calls. Also, users can create group chats to talk to more of their friends at once. Another popular feature: stories, which is where a person posts snaps to a personalized location where all their friends, or whoever they choose where their post will be available for viewing for 24 hours. This way, users can see what their friends are doing.

Since so many people have Snapchat, it is popular for communicating, especially during this time. It has entertaining additions that are not found in normal text messages, like linking your Bitmoji and also playing Bitmoji Party games with your friends. 

“For some of my friends this is our main communication,” freshman Alyssa Bettendorf said. 

“I just like texting them on [snapchat] because it’s more fun.” 

Snapchat adds an exciting spin to normal social media apps through all of its unique features. Students can doodle, add words, stickers, and filters on Snaps. Can is enjoyable when someone doesn’t have anything to do. 

“My favorite feature of Snapchat is being able to text people through pictures because I just feel like it’s more casual and fun to do,” Bettendorf said. 

Snapchat is one of the primary ways of communication among high school students because of its variety and convenience.

Zoom

Zoom has become very prominent as of the recent transition to online schooling. Teachers are now using it for virtual classes with their students. Many teachers use zoom once or twice a week to communicate with their students face to face, and still practice social distancing.  While on zoom, students have the option to join with video or without, as of recently some teachers are requiring that students show their faces for attendance. They also have the option to mute themselves, if a student does not mute themselves, teachers have the ability to mute them. 

There are also two screen options on zoom, first, active speaker view, and second gallery view. Active speaker view shows only the person who is talking on your screen. It is helpful when a teacher is explaining a lesson or if a student is presenting. Gallery view allows students to see everyone on the call. If a student is using zoom on an iPad they can view up to 9 people without shifting to see more. If a student is accessing zoom through their computer they are able to view almost the entire class at once, depending on the size. The gallery view is best when working in a group or when one wants to look at multiple people at the same time. 

Zoom allows teachers to explain topics and teach lessons that are only accomplished with face to face communication. Also, it gives students the opportunity to ask questions and participate in learning similarly to how they would in traditional school.

“I think zoom is a good way to interact with our teachers and classmates,” freshman Paige Witham said.

Zoom is an effective way for teachers to achieve distance learning, and allow students to engage in learning and see their classmates.

GamePigeon

GamePigeon was originally released in 2016, and became increasingly more popular with new games.mNow, it is being used more frequently to pass the time during quarantine. GamePigeon is an iMessage extension that students buy in the App Store. The app allows students to play games with their friends through messages. Unfortunately, it is only available to IOS and not android.

When the app launched, it included games like 8 Ball, Poker, Sea Battle, Anagrams, and about eight in total.. As of now, there are 24 available games, including: 20 Questions, 9 Ball, Reversi, Gomoku, Dots & Boxes, Mancala, Chess, Checkers, Tanks, Filer, Shuffleboard, Wordhunt, and Paintball.  There are several others alongside those games that are close to well known games. Some of these include: Crazy 8, which is essentially Uno, Sea Battle, which is similar to Battleships, and finally 8 Ball, which can be closely related to Pool. Students select a game in which they want to play then send it to a friend. After this action, friends are then able to make moves and text back and forth until someone wins.

These games can provide hours of fun for students. Most games are only available to two users at a time, but games like Crazy 8 are available for three to six players at once. Games like these make it easier to play in group chat. Unfortunately, if a game is in a group chat and intended for two players, only two participants will be able to play. 

“I use the app a lot more since this break started. I used to never use it, but I want to keep myself occupied this break,”  Witham said.

This app allows students to play games together during the quarantine with ease. As well as enter a “chat” that is available while games are in process to communicate with friends.

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