Students Adjust To Virtual Learning Platforms

On September 16th, Mount Greylock began another academic school year that looked different than ever before. Instead of a day filled with students bustling through the halls and once again filling teachers classrooms, classes took place on a computer screen for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the school year has brought its challenges, there is still a better opportunity for students to learn than there was in the spring. Sophomore Will Marsh said, “I think it’s the best we can do at the moment and it’s much better than online school last year.”

In order to make online school a more comprehensive learning experience that is easier for students, many changes have been made overall. Perhaps the most notable one is the use of Canvas for all classes. Junior Anthony Welch said, “The Canvas platform is working well for me. I think that it’s nice for every class to be in one place and have all the work on one calendar.”

Canvas has helped students stay organized, especially while at home with a myriad of distractions. Senior Amanda Filiault said, “I like how it’s set up. Everything is easy and organized. Canvas sure helps you stay on task while you’re at home.”

This semester, all Zoom classes have mimicked the typical period schedule, which has allowed for more connection between students. Freshman Lily McDermott said, “I am glad I can still see people’s faces on zoom and say hi once in a while.”

As with any school year, there have been some challenges. With many kids and parents on the WiFi at home, there are many technical difficulties getting on to Zoom classes and engaging with the material. Welch said, “Zoom itself is great but with my Chromebook I had a hard time with larger classes. I find myself unable to speak fluently and often kicked out or frozen.”

That being said, students have been able to learn a lot about themselves and their learning needs through the process of online learning. McDermott said, “I learned that I am a very social person and greatly enjoy seeing people in person.”

A lot of kids are finding that they get easily distracted at home and have to adjust to the new environment. Filiault said, “While doing online school, I get side tracked a lot and it causes me to have less focus.”

Welch said, “I find it easier to space out when not physically in the classroom and easier to lose track of time.”

With hybrid learning looming on the horizon, students have mixed emotions about being back in the building. Marsh said, “I am definitely nervous about it.”

Some have reservations towards jumping back into the seven hour school day after being at home since March.

“Since we haven’t been back in school since March, it is a little nerve racking being around everyone for the first time in so long,” said Filiault. “Seeing all the different changes that have to take place to keep everyone safe will definitely feel weird and be something to get used to.”

Even with all of the uncertainty, students are excited to be back in the classroom. McDermott said, “I can’t wait to learn in person even if it is just for two days a week.”

On October 5th, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Mount Greylock will move into the hybrid model with each cohort attending two days a week with Wednesday remaining remote. Despite an unconventional start, another school year is up and running at Mount Greylock.