Free digital services are offered to students during closure


Courtesy Photo

Students are being offered free accounts to digital services in order to continue their school work at home. Starting May 13, Xfinity Wi-Fi will provide that free resource for 60 days.

Many students are finding it difficult to complete their assignments and access technology at home due to campus closures starting on March 16 regarding COVID-19.

Many students rely on free use of technology to complete school assignments by going to places like reading and writing labs and tutor centers. But all of those services are currently unavailable to students due to mandatory campus closures.

“The school closure has affected my life in many ways. My classes are all online, which one, I dislike,” said 24-year-old Jamilah Ahmach Antolin, a liberal arts social and behavioral science major. “I am not a person who learns by reading lecture notes and sitting behind a computer.”

While understanding students’ concern for technology access off campus, companies like Xfinity are offering free Wi-Fi access across many regions. For students and staff who don’t have access to a computer or Wi-Fi, Canvas offers a free app on the app store that can be downloaded over cellular networks to their phones. 

“Many textbook publishers (Pearson, Wiley, and McGraw-Hill, etc.) and instructional software companies have offered free access to their e-learning materials until June 2020,” said online course coordinator Jena M. Trench. “It is up to the instructor to determine if these offers apply to their courses, and to request access for their students. I have no doubt that the faculty at Cosumnes River College are actively pursuing these free offers when applicable to their courses and will notify their students.”

According to Adobe website, Adobe is providing schools and colleges temporary access to their Creative Cloud feature that includes PhotoShop and Premiere. This service will be available through May 31, 2020. Meaning CRC students can access this resource through the remainder of Spring 2020 term.

“The school closure impacts me because I have never really done online classes before, as well as many of my professors haven’t done them either,” said 23-year-old film major Christopher Potter. “However, we’re all learning together on how to do classes online.”

Furthermore, students have different learning styles as there are some students who learn better when sitting in a classroom and there are some who learn mostly by attending class on an electronic device.

“I personally prefer going to class instead of online classes because I get to ask questions in class and I get an answer right away. I also am a visual learner, so online classes might make it a little more difficult for me to absorb all the information,” said 20-year-old Luz Toribio Orozco, social work major.

For students who learn better in person, there are online sources for students and instructors to see each other face and verbally communicate while live streaming like one website and phone app called Zoom.

“The infrastructure required to move to remote operations is mostly paid for by the state – primarily by the CVC-OEI (California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative). Canvas, Zoom, Cranium Cafe (our online counseling platform), are three good examples,” said Trench. “These are free for students and faculty.”

At no charge, Zoom is offering full access to Clever school districts’ students and instructors that are negatively impacted from COVID-19. Outschool has provided instructors and students with free resource teaching and learning via live video chat classroom. These services by Zoom are available through July 1 to Clever districts.

CRC also offers free online tutoring to students via which is an online resource for students who are unable to visit tutors in person. 

CRC students on average get 20 hours of free tutoring each semester. Students can request additional hours by contacting the Tutoring Center.

During this event, “Each Los Rios College, including CRC had laptops available for students to check out. I believe that on Monday and Tuesday of this week, approximately 400 laptops were loaned to students, staff, and faculty,” said Trench. “I am not sure if there is anyone on campus now to check out computers to students who missed this opportunity.”