Our New “Classrooms”

Staff Writer: Molly McWethy

This year started off with what we thought would only be a few changes, but after about a week and a half there was one Jurassic change. Everyone had to switch to online school. We did this for the last three months of school and we basically had to teach ourselves new material through Canvas. However, this year the school system stepped it up and decided to use Microsoft Teams.

Picture credit: VentureBeat Microsoft Teams, the app that has replaced our classrooms.

Teams is a video chatting app that allows teachers to go over material live with the students whether they are using a PowerPoint to take notes or to go over an assignment. This way the students can ask questions as the teacher is going over something. This method is certainly better and all, but of course it comes with its own ups and downs.

WHS sophomore Grace Needham put it perfectly, “I enjoy that working through teams allows us to still see our teachers and peers, however, in-person instruction is a better platform to go more in depth in complex topics and ask questions along the way. Additionally, I feel that teachers can grasp a better understanding of the correct pace to teach in class when we are in person in comparison to teaching through Teams meetings.”

A major plus is that your teachers can explain each assignment in depth so there is no confusion or having to guess what their expectations are. You are also able to interact with your classmates so you can hear their perspectives on things.

Josh Hair said, “It gives me some social interaction.” A lot of kids need this social interaction especially when you are quarantined.

It is really user friendly for teachers and students. On a more exciting note, you do not have to ask to go to the bathroom, you can eat whenever you want, you can chew gum, and no one will know if you are wearing pajamas or not!

Photo credit: InfoWorld An inside look at a Microsoft Teams meeting.

Of course, with technology, there are some downsides to this new platform. The first week of using the Teams meetings took a little bit of patience due to teachers trying to figure out how they were going to accomplish the things they needed to do and the students trying to get on the right call at the right time. Internet connection also became an issue when it came to the storms that occurred on August 24 and 25.

As Grace mentioned, teachers are not always able to gauge the appropriate pace to teach at especially when going over notes. By the second week of using this platform, we were all starting to get the hang of it and teachers are found out new ways to use Teams to their advantage and students loosened up a little bit and started to participate more.

With the new Hybrid Learning schedule from the school board, it looks like our Microsoft Teams meetings will only occur on Wednesdays beginning September 3.

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