1. 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?
I think that the hybrid learning system was a fun new twist of a way to learn the subjects that I’ve been learning before, but when compared to the original format with being at school the whole time, I don’t think I could actually come up with a personal preference. Both formats (the semester system and the hybrid quarter system) had their own ups and downs. For some classes like woodwork, it was going to be difficult to get much work done at home, without any of the tools that the school provides. However, for other classes like math, you don’t need any special tools provided by the school to get your work done.
You have to find a good balance. The quarter system is good in the sense that you don’t have to focus on too many classes at one time, but it advances very quickly, since you only really have about 2 months for each class. However, with the semester system, it is good in the sense that each class advances fairly moderately, but you have to live with doing up to 5 classes at one time, which may get a bit stressful.
There is one aspect of the hybrid learning system that I absolutely hate (although hate is a strong word, I think it is well applicable in this case): The online meetings. The online meetings can get so incredibly boring at times. They aren’t interactive, they can be very awkward, and to sit in a 2 hour meeting with only one 5 minute break is borderline forcing the students to sit in their homes (which typically is supposed to be a place to rest and enjoy your free time) and just watch a screen for long periods of time, with really the only main thing that they’ve learned is what the next assignment is. Students need interactive teaching. That’s why I joined the TALONS program, to be placed in classes that would have more interactive projects, and there were! The science inquiry, the in-depth, the eminent projects, all of those let you learn about the topic YOU want to learn and present it the way YOU want to present it.
In summary, I think I prefer how it was before, simply because of the meetings. Besides the meetings, I couldn’t decide.
Note: You can find my original post about the in-depth project here as evidence.
2. How has technology benefitted you during the hybrid learning experience?
Technology helps a lot with various jobs, not only when learning as a student, but working, teaching, and much more. For me, I can mention many ways technology has helped me in school, but I’m going to focus on how technology has helped me with the hybrid learning experience as opposed to the regular semester-based learning experience.
As opposed to the regular semester-based learning experience, technology helped a lot with staying in the flow of things. Being in the quarter system, assignments can go by very quickly, as a lot of information is jammed into a span of 2 months. The two classes that the quarter system most affected in my point of view are science and math. In science, we were going to be learning environmental sciences, physics, chemistry, and biology in one semester. However, in the quarter system… We still learned all of those topics. We had to rush them very much. I actually had a bit of trouble with science, and I think that this new learning experience played a big role in that.
Technology has also helped with, well, the other half of the learning experience. We did half of our work at home, and without technology, I would have no way of getting in contact with the teachers to know what we were supposed to be doing.
3. How has technology impeded you during the hybrid learning experience?
Technology hasn’t done really anything to impede me or my learning experience this past year. Something that might be worth mentioning is the online meetings, and that without technology, the online meetings would not happen. However, I will happily embrace technology and all it brings if it only comes with a small downside like such.
4. 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?
I am not sure if I’ve decided which system is better: Semester or quarter. As long as online meetings will stop after the pandemic has died down, I’m mostly fine with either system (although I think I prefer the semester system since I’m a bit more used to that system). Besides that, I can’t think of anything else that I want to keep from the hybrid learning system to the original one that we will soon be returning to.
5. Link to 2 Projects in school /TALONS that used digital technology, and explain how the use of that digital technology enhanced your project.
I will first link my in-depth project. I will link the first blog post here, and the final one here. Without technology, I wouldn’t have been able to do my project at all! My in-depth project was to program a text-based video-game using the Python programming language. Without technology, the Python programming language wouldn’t have existed at all, and I wouldn’t be able to share the project. So, in this case, not only has technology enhanced my project, it has essentially created it as well.
The second project that I will link will be my eminent learning center project, which I will link here. I used 3 main tools when making this project: Wikipedia, PowerPoint, and a website that allows you to make your own Feynman Diagrams. Without technology, all of these tools wouldn’t exist. Technology allows you to think smarter, not harder when working, and that’s what I love about it. It’s so convenient, and there’s so much you can do with it. That’s why I plan (at least as I’m writing this) on pursuing computer science later in my life.