While the students were relishing the break brought on by the shutdown, the teachers had to learn how to shift from their physical classrooms to Blackboard Collaborate and change curricula to fit online learning restrictions, all within a month’s time.
Students need to recognize how hard their teachers have been working and give credit where credit is due.
The first week of virtual school had an abundance of technical issues, so much so that the county had to cancel two days of learning to fix the issues. Though students simply regarded this as additional holidays, teachers had to become familiar with a completely different method of logging in, send links out to all their students and attend to any problems the students faced.
Additionally, the teachers are actively attempting to mimic a normal classroom environment.
A major part of school is the collaborative work between students. According to the Washington University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, students display more individual achievement when working with other people compared to working alone. With the transition to online learning, students lost this important aspect of school.
Many teachers have been utilizing the breakout groups feature on Blackboard Collaborate. In no way do they replace physical cooperative work, but the attempt to simulate a similar atmosphere for students does warrant praise.
Teachers have also had to maneuver through drastically reduced class times. Instead of teaching on the alternating Red and Blue days, they have to prepare a lesson to suffice simply 45 minutes in a week and assign enough asynchronous work to ensure students learn everything in the curriculum.
Of course the teachers are not going to be perfect. Some have never even had to conduct online lessons before. But, most have been incredibly considerate of their students’ needs, allowing them to turn in assignments late and changing their office hours to meet with students who could not attend the scheduled time. They are trying their best to replicate the school environment, and all students do in return is complain.
Online learning is not the ideal way of attending school. Still, students should stop taking their frustrations out on the teachers and start being more understanding of how much the teachers are doing for them in unprecedented times.