SEARCY, Ark. – This semester, teachers are challenged with helping kids learn both in the classroom and at home. Now as they are starting to settle in, we’re learning the teaching part is actually more challenging than it sounds. In science classes labs are a big part of the curriculum. While some teachers are filming videos of the experiment and posting them online, An Ahlf Junior High teacher is utilizing Google Meets to get those students learning from home directly involved in the experiments.
The gloves are on, the beakers are out and Kyla Glasser’s lab is in session, but what happens with those students who aren’t here physically.
“My at-home students they don’t have access to these materials. They don’t have a triple beam balance, they don’t have beakers, they may have a thermometer but it may not be something they can put in water,” Glasser said.
This left Glasser looking for a solution on how to get those students involved.
“I thought well they join meets for other things why not set them in a different lab group,” Glasser said.
She mixed her in person class with her virtual class.
“The other day I had a student who was moving his camera around and he closed the laptop lid so he could see the ruler and saying ‘what do you think it is? we think it’s that too,'” Glasser said.
Just like experiments, technology has a few variables that can’t be controlled.
“The only hard part is slow internet just making sure they understand what you’re saying and staying on top of what they are supposed to be doing,” science student Lexie Eddins said.
To tackle that issue, students like Eddins are using the chat feature to make sure her friends on the screen are getting all the information.
“I would just tell her what as a group we were talking about and she would copy that down,” Eddins said.
Overall, Glasser is pleasantly surprised with how these students are adapting to a new normal.
“It gave me chills and I was like okay they are running with it,” Glasser said.
Glasser said sometimes the students can’t join Google meet because of other classes. Then she will take pictures and post a video of what they did in the lab that day,