- What are your thoughts on hybrid learning (in person and at home) compared to when you are in your learning groups (at school for all classes). Which format do you prefer, and why?
In my opinion, I quite enjoyed the hybrid learning model. I would prefer the hybrid learning model over learning groups format because although I could find myself distracted while at home, I also saw the complete flip side to that coin. More often than not, I was far more product at home than I would usually be in school. This was probably due to there being fewer social distractions rather than digital. I was also able to complete other chores around the house while during a lighter course which most likely helped me become more productive since it gave me more time to complete my assigned homework. A perfect example of my productivity increase is shown through my reflections TALONS learners had to complete in our Leadership course. Since this was an additional task that was far more independent, we were expected to work on them on our own time to eventually return it on a given date. I always received good grades on these reflections which was due to the abundance of time I received to complete them.
- How has technology benefitted you during the hybrid learning experience?
For obvious reasons, technology has benefitted me during the hybrid learning model since it was through applications, such as Teams, that we would receive our homework as well as our instructions for materials needed for in-person classes. Without such technology, it would have made my grade 9 learning experience far more challenging. Furthermore, my spelling really improved because of technology due to receiving far fewer written assignments, rather, I was fortunate to rely on autocorrect and other grammar-based tools. An example of how technology benefitted my learning is in both of my Humanities courses where we were expected to type far more than usual. Because of this, I was able to take full advantage of autocorrect so that I would receive no marks off for any grammar errors that are spread throughout my work. It also allowed for me to use more experimental words to better illustrate my thoughts.
- How has technology impeded you during the hybrid learning experience?
Although I was quite efficient in my learning during this past year, I did run into a few speed bumps relating to technology. The main one being the distractions I faced while becoming bored of an assignment. I would message my friends or look online for YouTube videos that interest me in order to take my mind off what I was working on. I knew that it did not always help me, however, I believe it helped me gain further focus when the time came where it was absolutely necessary to focus on my work. An example would be using Discord to message my friends or enter servers to look at a new funny meme to take my mind off the homework.
- Is there anything that you hope remains a part of school that was new because of hybrid learning after the pandemic is over and school returns to normal?
In all honesty, I somewhat liked learning online and I hope that will have some influence when we return to school in a normal fashion. As stated plenty above, I found myself far more productive than I would usually be in class, and I also enjoyed it because I was able to work in my pyjamas while still in bed. Although that might not have helped me as much, it was still nice to have a choice when to wake up and get to work rather than there being a strict schedule on when you had to be at school and when you were finished. If that’s not possible, I would not mind there being far more online assignments and not have to go in school rather than more in person assignments where we are forced to attend. An example we could use to create a better educational system is by using a similar one to this year’s. We could have it so that half of our courses in the first semester would be online and the second half of our courses in the first semester would be in person, giving us the lunch hour to travel to and from.
- Link to 2 Projects in school /TALONS that used digital technology and explain how the use of that digital technology enhanced your project. Ideas include In-Depth, Eminent, Zip, individual class projects in Talons or other subjects…
In the TALONS program this year, both my In-Depth project an Eminent project used plenty of digital technology in many different formats. For example, in my In-Depth project I was constantly using my camera to take my macro photos which was the skill that I was working towards improving. The use of my camera was completely necessary for my In-Depth project since I had no other way of taking macro photos. The camera that I used probably enhanced my project the most since it was a fairly good quality camera that I had bought the previous year. For my Eminent project, I also used my camera to videotape the final presentation which I also edited on my laptop using an application called Final Cut Pro X. In my opinion, the editing process enhanced my project the most since it was where I cut out a lot of the imperfections in my speech as well as put together all the other aspects to create my final product which I was extremely proud of at the time.
(One of my favourite macro images I took during my In-Depth project)