Technology’s new role

Posted: November 3, 2020

Technology stepping up to the plate amid COVID-19 distance learning

At Minnehaha Academy, technology is being used to bridge the gap between students in the classroom and at home for the 2020 school year.

Because of the global pandemic, it has been necessary for the high school to find and use technology to give students access to a high quality learning experience. Minnehaha has provided teachers with multiple technologies to help students at home be able to join lessons.

Zoom, a video conferencing software, is vital to connecting students and teachers to the classroom.

“The first problem with technology then is solving how people see and hear,” said Latin teacher Johanna Beck.

The teachers are given an extra iPad to use as a camera for Zoom. However, it is difficult for online students to see their classmates as they appear very small on Zoom.

“You can barely see movement,” said Beck.

Teachers are also given two methods of sharing audio- either with Airpods or through a Bluetooth speaker that also has a microphone. The Airpods let distance learners hear the teacher clearly, but they are unable to hear other students who are in the classroom. In contrast, the Bluetooth speaker lets online students hear everything.

“It should be great but it’s not perfect,” said Beck.

A final obstacle is how to keep students engaged. Pear Deck, a Google slides extension, is being used for this purpose. Pear Deck allows the teacher to present slides to students, and enables teachers to ask questions about the content of the slides. Students’ answers are presented directly to the teacher to better determine how well each student understands the topic being studied.

You may also like…

U.S. attempt to ‘kill the Indian, save the man’

Government and Church run boarding schools horrific history Less than 100 years ago in the turbulent 1930s a child was taken from his family and forced to attend a boarding school in South Dakota. This school (as well as more than 500 others which operated in...

1 in 6 Minnesotans go hungry

Why many neighbors struggle to meet basic needs, and how you can help As humans, we constantly rely on food to survive, and it should be a right to have access to it. However, that is far from the truth of our society today. In 2021, 483,000 people in Minnesota...

Learning From Living Abroad: Mexico

From sunshine and mountains to ice and snow, M.A. family combines cultures Once you enter Minnehaha Academy Upper School, you see several students just existing. Little do you know, there are multiple students with different cultural backgrounds. One of those students...

Learning from living abroad; Romania

Revisiting Romanian roots Many people have explored different cities, traveled to different states, and maybe even visited foreign lands. But how many people can say that they were born and raised in a country other than the U.S.? For first-year Alexandra Radulescu...

Learning from Living Abroad: England

England packed with sights, fond memories Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Europe? To be able to see Big Ben, The Eiffel Tower, or The Colosseum only a short trip away? For these three Minnehaha students, siblings senior Philip and first-year...