Has Coronavirus schooled us?

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Teachers at Parkview have been utilizing highly effective teaching methods to better engage students throughout this challenging semester.

Ms. Voss and Ms. Parker, Parkview’s anatomy and physiology teachers, are two of the teachers utilizing new online resources. As anatomy and physiology is a class with heavy information, memorization is imperative. Bookwidgets is an interactive website that allows students to do worksheets online. The site saves answers, even if work is unfinished, and grades papers immediately. Shrinath Parikh, a current senior and student of Ms. Voss, says, “The site is super helpful,” and he especially loves “being able to fill out the blank diagrams because it helps all the information click together.” Ms. Voss knows that “this situation isn’t ideal for anyone”, and wants students to know “that I care” and that “they can ask questions and share frustrations.” Like other teachers, this care for students is fueled into finding new ways to keep students engaged and going through “previous activities and change them up”. 

Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Klinect are Parkview’s AP government teachers and they are also using methods to keep class engaging. AP classes require students to plan for AP exams and these teachers are already preparing students with practice free-response questions. The classes are using Eduflow, a website used as a platform to assign free-response questions. It allows students to submit their own work, grade other’s work, and receive their own peer-reviewed grades. Additionally, history textbooks can feel overwhelming, so online videos have been assigned for students to watch. On Edpuzzle, teachers can assign videos for students to watch and questions as the video progresses. The website makes it so that students must watch the entire video for credit and they are not allowed to skip ahead.

While only a few teachers used it last year, Google Classroom has become a popular platform this year to assign work. At the rate it is being used, each student is bound to have a few teachers taking advantage of the resource, but not all. Trinity To, a current senior, wishes “more teachers used it so that I could have all my classes on one platform rather than on multiple.” It is convenient for her and other students because it “emails us reminders and notifications,” which is greatly helpful considering all the assignments students have to keep up with. 

Currently, with the hybrid system, GCPS is facing a dilemma on the basis of equity. In order for this to happen, students learning from home need to be ensured the same quality of education as of those who are able to do in-person instruction. Therefore, teachers have been using these different methods to keep students engaged during online schooling. Especially for younger grades, this is necessary as younger children have a harder time focusing and retaining information. The way that teachers choose to teach and the resources they use have the power to help students tremendously.