AURORA – Indian Prairie School District 204 schools ventured into unchartered territory today, as teachers and students began e-learning on Wednesday. Due to COVID-19 concerns, schools around the state have been closed from face-to-face learning.
Science teacher Pam Westfall is having her class do an in-home experiment that explains electrostatics.
“I think this situation allows for students to learn in a flexible environment,” said Westfall. “Once they get used to it, I think students will learn to appreciate both the in-class experience, and see the benefits of flexible learning.”
Music teacher Will Burck posted a WeVideo to communicate with his students, presenting such assignments as new music warmups, an app review and “mystery tune”.
World languages teacher Savannah Smith says her students have posted assignment responses using Flip Grid. “I am missing the students so much already,” said Smith. “It has been cool to see them already start exploring the work I shared with them. Glad to have the technology to be able to still have some type of “face-to-face” interaction.”
Math teacher Taylor Drefcinski and social studies teacher Megan Voitik produced short selfie videos explaining assignments and telling students about their own days at home. “I wanted them to see me and hear from me on what they should really focus on,” said Voitik. “Ultimately, I don’t want them to stress. They are such great students. I trust them. I want them to continue to learn, review, and feel at ease.”
“We love you guys, we miss you guys, and we hope you’re doing well,” Drefcinski said in her video.
Science teacher Carl Armstrong is using Blackboard Collaborate to interact with students in real-time. Armstrong offers daily office hours and an interactive online lecture for both his Cosmic Journey and AP Environmental Science classes. If students aren’t able to attend the online session, he then posts the lesson to YouTube.
“I think the students that were able to make it had a really great time,” said Armstrong. “It felt like everyone was able to connect and talk with each other. It felt almost normal, and I think that’s what we all need right now.”
Although grades cannot be issued and attendance cannot be taken, teachers are encouraging students to take advantage of the learning opportunities while the building is closed. E-learning will continue next week.