Due to COVID-19, many in-person services has been impacted tremendously and a lot of schools nation-wide were forced to transition their services online on short notice with little to no preparation.Our office took a tremendous hit with emails/voicemails as deadlines quickly approached.Our staff tackled these inquiries, answering questions from our continuing and newly admitted students who were seeking answers about their academic file and/or guidance with financial aid. At some point, we reached over 2K of emails (it kept growing) and staff couldn't keep up! Students were feeling anxious, stressed, and seeking immediate replies from our office that did not have the bandwidth to support.
The Zoom software has taken over and became the popular platform for meetings and webinars especially in the education field considering that all staff and faculty are now working remote.Our office had only used Zoom for staff meetings and nothing more.I came across a colleague that was hosting advising appointments through Zoom and that opened the conversation and drew my curiosity to understand the capability of this software and how it can help our office (I'm all for working smarter, not harder).With absolutely NO knowledge of Zoom besides its ability to host meetings, I began researching and testing this software's capabilities.After one week of vigorous testing and watching YouTube tutorials:YES- it had the capability for one-on-one sessions, YES - it has a waiting room (a virtual queue), YES- it has audio, video and chat functions, YES - compatible on desktop and mobile (there's an app!)-- it had ALL the essential functions we needed to operate our services! I was confident to say Zoom became a key component to reducing our email inquiries and giving students the option for real-time assistance!
Morale of the story -- we can't always be prepared for change but we can learn to work with the existing resources we have and the limitations.It only take curiosity to conjure a thought > become an idea > share idea > execute and implementation.
(article also found on LinkedIn)