Due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, KO’s campus has been closed to students since the start of spring break. Although the campus is closed, our community has been hard at work through the use of video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Meet.
Most of KO’s current classes consist of 10 or more students, which counter the CDC and Connecticut State Governor Ned Lamont’s “Ten or More” plan. They recommend restraining from hosting or attending gatherings of 10 or more individuals. This plan will help lower the spread of the virus.
After careful thought, KO decided to begin virtual classes for the safety of the community until Monday, April 20. Teachers have been utilizing the apps Zoom and Google Meet to run their classes.
Zoom provides many tools for teachers to run their classrooms like they ordinarily would; the screen share tool is the most beneficial of them all. In a normal class, teachers generally share their computer screens through a smartboard. With the screen share tool, teachers and students can present their screens without the use of other wires and apps. I have used screen share a couple of times, and it is the easiest to use and the most effective. Sometimes it is delayed and slow; however, it still supports its purpose. Whether it’s sharing notes or a slideshow, the screen share tool assists students to learn at home while possessing the tools of a classroom.
Another helpful tool on Zoom is the whiteboard. It allows teachers to write and draw on their screens. Whether it’s taking notes or playing hangman in advisee group, the whiteboard tool helps teachers display notes in a different way that may be comfortable to them.
Most of my teachers have been using the Zoom breakout room feature, which divides the class into random or assigned small groups to work together on projects. Most of my teachers have been meeting with the whole class for the first 20 minutes of class, then opening breakout groups and ending the class together. I think this class setup is great; it allows students to work together and rely on each other to learn the topics at hand. The teachers still pop in and out to check on questions and help with other issues.
The best part about online school is the schedule. We get to start school an hour later and don’t have the driving time to get to school. Even though school ends an hour later than usual, I think it’s a fair trade-off for the time we gain without sports. Between each class is a 30 minute break that allows students to grab a snack or start the homework for their classes. Four classes a day meeting twice a week might reduce class time, but I think we get the right amount of work done per class.
Personally, for the situation at hand, it is boring not being able to see your friends, but I think online schooling is working great and is just as productive as being in a classroom.