Teachers consider methods to continue from distance learning


Malcolm Taylor

Sadhi Vag-Urminsky watches a neuroscience video lesson while checking her Google Calendar. Math teacher Joseph Scroll is thinking of keeping on some changes in his classes from the past year, such as video lectures.

Caroline Hohner, Features Editor

With vaccination rates increasing and most students back for in-person learning four days a week, teachers must now consider how to run their classes after a year of adapting their teaching methods to the distance learning format.

According to counselor Teddy Stripling, deciding what to keep from distance learning has been an ongoing discussion among faculty. It will be up to teachers to decide which methods to throw away and which to continue.

“Online, when you’re not having the face-to-face, sometimes it’s good to have a system. And I think that’s what some of those conversations were about,” Mr. Stripling said.

Math teacher Joseph Scroll emphasized the importance of discussing any long-term changes with other math teachers and the faculty at large but is thinking of keeping on some changes in his classes from the past year, like video lectures and turn-in links for homework on Schoology.

“I’ve liked making videos for my classes,” Mr. Scroll said. “So you know, one of the things I’m considering is just posting those videos on Schoology anyway, even though I’ll be giving live lessons, but just so kids can go back and look at, watch the lecture again, if they want.”

Mr. Scroll said he would like to continue allowing students to give anonymous feedback through Google Forms posted to Schoology.

  “You know, I like reading what students have to say about the course,” Mr. Scroll said. “There are some things that obviously, you can’t change. But seeing student feedback, I think, is an important part of being a teacher.”

According to Mr. Scroll, there’s no consensus among teachers on the option to allow students to view their grades at any time on Schoology. Art teacher Brian Wildeman is in favor of an open gradebook.

“I will definitely continue using Schoology as a gradebook and maybe as a way of turning things in,” Mr. Wildeman said. “Students can see their average anytime they’re graded anytime, whether they’re missing assignments, and anytime. I think that’s great.”

Mr. Wildeman also considered continuing to post weekly learning plans to Schoology.

“I don’t love doing the remote learning plans every single week, but I do see the advantage to see the benefit of it. So that’s another one that maybe I would keep on,” Mr. Wildeman said.

The impact of the introduction of Zoom to daily life is likely to continue to be felt even after Zoom meetings are no longer the only option for school and social events. Whether individual teachers decide to continue to hold Zoom meetings and office hours, it will most likely remain at Lab in some form next year. 

“My guess is that there will likely be some component of Zoom that will weave in through next year,” Mr. Stripling said. “I would love to meet with students in person all the time, but my guess is some of those bigger ones will probably be Zoom.”