How remote learning needs to change

Adjusting from the hybrid model to full remote learning brought new problems with it.

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Madison Seckman

Madison Seckman’s remote learning space – previously just a laptop to game on – is now a mess just like remote learning. Everything is pilling up, and it is hard to keep track of and make time for school assignments.

Madison Seckman, Design Editor

We’ve officially made it two weeks into the new remote learning schedule. A lot needs to change.

Compared to the hybrid model that we had at Creek from August to mid-November, the remote learning schedule is the better of two evils. Since we cannot be in person five days a week, it’s important to make our learning as comfortable and manageable as we can from behind a computer or cell phone screen. There have been a few challenges.

I missed a biology test my first week of remote learning. I never miss tests. 

This test was supposed to happen in that weird gray area from 2 pm to almost 4 pm after school: namely, academic support periods.

Academic support is very unclear. Whether or not one is mandatory to attend is completely up to the teachers. While it’s great to give them the option for more learning time, some of them overlap, and it’s too hard to remember when you have to go to a meeting versus when you don’t.

My AP Language and Composition teacher had to make her essay available earlier because a bunch of her students had a Chemistry Honors test to take during the same academic support period. 

It would be far easier to make none of the support periods mandatory or all of them mandatory rather than a wishy-washy week-to-week basis that no one can keep track of.

Keeping track of academic support periods doesn’t even matter, however, if one cannot find the link or home page to get to it.

The links to class are all over the place right now. I can say with certainty that I cannot find more than one class’ link in the same place as another. And, some of them are not even on the same server as the others – some teachers are using Microsoft Teams while others are using Zoom.

My classes are split down the middle. I have three classes on Zoom and three classes on Teams. They should all be on one platform to make it less confusing.  Then students can be very comfortable with one platform instead of a little familiar with two.

Once I’ve determined which platform my class is on, I have to find the link to it. Teams is easy because you can go through My Cherry Creek and see all of the classes on the Teams’ homepage. But, Teams is really slow and laggy.

As far as Zoom goes, there is no guarantee on where you will find the link to class. Some teachers send it via email or put it on agendas or have it on their schoology pages.

Putting the link to every class at the top of their Schoology page is the best idea. Everyone needs to have Schoology open for their classes anyway, so teachers should just post their Teams or Zoom link at the top of the materials list for their classes. 

One thing I’ve really enjoyed is waking up much later than I would on an in person school day. Unfortunately, the shortened and late-start remote days do not make for a sufficient lunch period – we only have 30 minutes.

A specific example is a time when my fourth period went over their time by five minutes, so I only had 25 left of my lunch – 20 if you take into account the five minutes my computer needs to boot up before seventh period. I ran into my kitchen to make myself a bowl of Ramen Noodle Soup, and I burned my mouth on it because I didn’t have time to let it cool down before my next period.

One could argue that I can eat during my classes, but I cannot have food in my bedroom – where I do my school work – and for many classes, I am required to turn on my camera, so my whole class would be watching me eat. Not the best option.

Starting school 15 minutes earlier would be a great way to extend our lunch period.

Everyone at Creek is struggling with adjusting to a school year unlike any other. We have to jump in head first to see what happens and decide on how to fix it. And, as we all keep adjusting, I believe all of our little pet peeves from remote learning will be fixed. Remember to fight through and keep heads held high.