With the recent and sudden switch from the Bonds-Wilson Campus to computer screens, Magnet teachers, alongside many other teachers and college professors, are left with the daunting task of online learning. Many teachers and students alike are rather fond of the change, as they are able to have more free time, but some are challenged with the task of navigating through this confusing portal of information. While this system was not our choosing, there are many benefits to it, but also major downfalls.
First, I must begin this article by acknowledging the work that most of our teachers have put in these past 2 weeks to provide us with material to learn. It is no easy task to completely change 11 weeks worth of work in less than a week. Furthermore, many teachers have been very accommodating and have not overloaded students. Keep in mind I’m saying most teachers.
ZOOM – The new frontier. Personally, I am a big fan of being in my home for many lectures, as are many. This method of instruction can either be a blessing or a curse. For example, Mrs. Roop’s 2B Marine Science class on Zoom yesterday was by far 45 minutes well-spent. We were able to go over some notes, but also had some ~funky~ conversations thanks to seniors Jack Dillard, Katherine Ray, and Sam Carson. To achieve a fun-but-educational class, make sure to add some humor, but not too much. Also, bring some fun backgrounds to spice everything up. If you’re really feeling frisky, send some fun messages on the chat. Zoom is really coming in handy since Charleston County School District is requiring teachers to verbally talk to their students each week, at a minimum. While this policy is to ensure the academic rigor and expectations are kept, for some classes, this is unnecessary. Many students will blatantly admit that they have sat through a Zoom class with their microphone and camera off. Now, the options are endless. Furthermore, varying Internet levels hinders a smooth connection with the class (hint: go on mute). If this CCSD policy wasn’t enacted, we would be able to spend this time more productively.
An oldie but a goodie, Google Classroom, has been the frontrunner for this whole online learning process. In the past, it has been used along with class instruction, but now, it is the instruction. Google Classroom is organized and efficient: you know what is assigned and is easy to access across devices. However, many students are drowning in work that they have been assigned. We have found that some teachers believe that since we aren’t in a traditional classroom setting, they can assign more work. This act only hinders students’ motivation and respect for said teachers. Furthermore, if the work that is assigned serves no purpose, what’s the point?
While the odds are not favorable to a trip back to North Chuck, this is just my two cents on the issue of online learning. Also, it has only been 2 weeks, so I am optimistic for the future. At this point, stay inside and wash your hands because there are seniors who want to have a fun last year in the Birdcage :)