Updated: Sep 18
By Kayla Bleier
Lead Editor/Centerspread Editor
Home school has been a solution for a minority of students in the past, but recently the entire nation has gone home. It is a new experience, and many things are changing. At Barrack, classrooms turn into Google Meets; lunchtime meetings become Facetime calls and Canvas … well, Canvas stays as Canvas.
Academically, many things below the surface are changing, first and foremost being the classes. Despite how many hours every student spends sitting in a chair, staring at a screen, and sometimes feeling that their time is wasting away, this arrangement does not always have a positive effect on the student-teacher relationship. With quarantine, the dynamic of personal communication between teacher and students in a physical room is lost. Moving deeper into the school system, beyond the classroom, comes homework. Even though the content of the classes is the same, the way homework is assigned is not. Initially, the workload was the same, but when combined with the new environment of constant screen activity, the tasks seemed to double. It appeared that each teacher felt they needed more post-school class time to make up for the strange online classes. However, within two weeks at Barrack online, the policy was changed. No homework was allowed on weekends; teachers also began to feel the drag of the computers and began focusing on promoting the great outdoors.
The culmination of the classes and homework comes every few weeks. Tests vary in form and name, but their purpose is the same. This aspect appears to be the most challenging to change.. For some students the temptation to cheat can only grow when the internet sits unguarded on the same platform as the test. Because of the sporadic nature of tests and quizzes, teachers have more time to develop their strategies and to decide whether to work by the honor code.
Every academic aspect of school is changing. It will be up to the teachers and faculty to decide what will change and what they will try to keep the same. Grades, participation, homework, and testing are now evaluated differently. However, change does not necessarily mean bad things lie up ahead. The technological enhancements created for online learning and communication may reveal that there are many unnecessary things in day-to-day learning that were once regarded as critical. Every person -- student and teacher -- must now do their absolute best to work together and make the changes to their school system as comfortable and functional as possible.