– by Kiersten G, junior –
Contrary to the wishes of many students, classes are continuing regardless of the fact that school is not in session due to the COVID-19 crisis. This has been a very big adjustment for the students, but it has been just as new for all the teachers and staff. In mid-March, the teachers had a meeting where Mr. Bradford, Mr. Briggs, and Mr. Vasquez demonstrated how to record online lectures and use new tools on Sycamore that were available, but previously not necessary.
While it can be easy to simply record a lecture and PowerPoint presentation, many teachers have used this new online learning as an opportunity to get creative! Mr. Armstrong has been including musical transitions in his virtual classroom, and Mrs. Bradford even featured her neighbor’s dog to demonstrate the concept of big and little to her K-3 class.
Another tool that a few teachers have implemented into this new format for school is Zoom. Zoom is a platform for classes to video chat and talk to both the teacher and other classmates in real time. Mr. Briggs has scheduled weekly Zoom calls for his classes, as well as Mr. Armstrong, Mrs. Page, and even Ms. Koechig’s 6th grade class.
“From my perspective, students and teachers alike have done a great job of adjusting to distance learning. Still, I greatly miss having in-person discussions with the students,” commented Mr. Armstrong, history teacher. “Even with Zoom, it’s hard to replicate the in-person experience. However, the online learning and collaboration experience is helping students build skills that will help them in their future careers.”
“Thankfully, most of our work was finished on the yearbook, although we are doing a few small online projects to continue with the newspaper production,” said Mrs. Dyck, journalism teacher. “We will definitely have new stories to tell this year with all of the coronavirus and quarantine issues. There should some interesting articles in April and May.”
Online learning is a new experience for students, teachers, and parents but it is important for everyone involved to have patience with each other and with technology itself. So far, the teachers have stepped up to the challenge and tried their best to give their students the best learning opportunities they can amidst a completely new format of teaching.