What are your thoughts on hybrid learning compared to hybrid learning? Which format did you find worked the best?
This year we had two different formats for learning, one being hybrid and the other being learning groups. Personally, I preferred the learning groups to the hybrid style. Learning groups felt much more like a regular class as we were seeing each other full time everyday, I think it was the regularity and consistency of it that made it more comfortable. Though I did love being at home more in the mornings or afternoons during hybrid learning, I found it to be a lot more start and stop. With classes like humanities, we were only able to do so much in 2 hours and then at home the next day it felt like a lull in the learning or class. I found that the online part of hybrid learning was also a bit cumbersome because of the video chats. For example, in math this year, there would be long durations of silence because no one would turn on their cameras or mics and it overall just felt very strange. I definitely prefer being able to talk face to face and interact with my teachers and classmates in a classroom fulltime compared to half online and in person.
How has technology benefited you throughout hybrid learning?
Technology has always been a big part of my school experience, especially this year. I found that the most helpful piece of technology to me was my laptop, and specifically teams and my school email during hybrid learning. Teams was really helpful in getting assignments to and back from teachers when we were working at home. It also made it easy to get messages out to the entire team and the teacher, like when we had to ask a question that benefited the entire class. If there were any announcements like a short-notice call on teams, it made it easier to notify the entire class. I also utilized my school email a lot during online learning. Since we weren’t in school as often for the classes that were online, emails made it easier to ask questions or communicate directly with the teacher. We also used emails a lot to send in schoolwork (leadership reflections) or other longer assignments. There were a lot of times when I used my school email to reach out and communicate with other teachers that I didn’t know or couldn’t visit their classroom.
How has technology impeded you throughout hybrid learning?
I found that technology was also a hinderance this year. I had the most problems with connections and Wi-Fi at school and at home. I was only able to work on online assignments when I was at home, so when I had to work in the car while waiting for my brothers, I wasn’t able do much. There were also multiple problems when I thought I had saved or because I was offline it didn’t save my word document and I had to restart. That was really frustrating because there were many times when I had almost finished the assignment but then made a mistake in saving it, which had caused all my progress to be lost. I also remember trying to collaborate or work in a group with others online being very frustrating. The communication online was difficult at times because of the barrier of having screens in front of us, and social cues when talking over video were also less evident.
Is there anything caused by hybrid learning this year that you hope o keep next year?
One part of hybrid learning that I want to keep next year is the freer/longer deadlines. When we were given online assignments for the week, many teachers told us to complete them by the end of the week. This meant that we could complete the on our own time and pace. I’m not completely sure how it works in high school, but I know that in middle school we didn’t get a lot of weekly assignments that we were able to complete at our own pace. I found that it allowed me to prioritize other homework when needed and forced me to learn to schedule my week out so that I was able to get the homework done. I hope that this is something that stays next year.
Two projects in school that utilized technology~
My In-Depth Project this year was bass guitar, and I used a video to showcase my learning. I used a phone to film my videos and then used my editing experience to overlay the music onto my bass guitar so that you could still hear the bass over the music. I found that it was an engaging and fun way to show people what I’ve learned and it seemed that people really enjoyed my covers as well. The YouTube platform also made it much easier to share my videos so that I could monitor and upload them as I wanted. I feel that overall, this was much more entertaining since covid prevented me from preforming live, I was able to share my music even in the event of an online In-Depth.
When we were working on the Confederation debates with my group, we used Google docs to collaborate with each other. It was an extremely useful tool because we were able to leave and share resources with each other through the doc. We could look at each other’s notes as we progressed and could ‘monitor’ the progress of our group so that we could support those who we saw struggling. Another great feature that we utilized in Google docs was when we were writing and editing our final speeches. The editing mode allowed us to suggest edits to the writer without changing the original text. This definitely made it easier to give feedback and support each other when looking for improvements. I found Google docs to be very helpful when working on a group project.