Hands-On Classes Adapting to Remote Learning


Stephanie Dodd

Greg Soltess, senior working in 2D Media while his teacher is remote

Bridget Nelis, Opinions Editor

This year all classes were required to adapt and change to be able to work in a remote and hybrid environment due to COVID-19.

Art classes are an example of a class that had to change how they operate. Teachers have made videos to demonstrate concepts that their students could then watch at a later date.

Classes such as 2D Media and 3D Media had material pick-up days where students  received a box full of supplies to be able to work on projects from home. In Photo classes, students have been able to download an app called Lightroom on their phones, which allows them to edit photos while not being in person. However, there are some things that needed to change in the Photo classes.

“So Photo 1 doesn’t do the darkroom anymore. We can’t go in there,” said Stephanie Dodd, 2D Media 1 and Photo 1, 2 and 3 teacher. 

To make up for that loss, students have been learning more about different techniques in photography and how to take better photos.

Digital Media classes have also been able to adapt to work from home. Students now have access to an online platform called Citrix, which gives students access to Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. This allows students to use the same software that they would have used if they were in-person. However, teachers have felt that it is harder to see student’s work because they cannot walk around the classroom and see a student’s progress.

“I can’t just walk around the classroom now and see a student’s screen in the moment and give them immediate feedback… I do breakout rooms a lot and ask students to come over and share your screen with me. I asked for students to put a screenshot of their work that they got done for that day onto a daily slideshow. So at least by the end of class, I can see what they got done and give them some formative feedback,” said Karissa Schulten, Digital Art 1 and 2 and AP Studio Art teacher.

Music classes have also had to change. Band and choir classes are not able to play when in person, so teachers have had to find different activities for students to do. Students are singing and playing on their remote days. 

“We do some pre-recorded warm ups. I play accompaniments for them over Zoom… and then they do their singing assignments when they’re at home,” said Michael Molloy, choir teacher.

Orchestra classes are able to operate normally due to the fact that they do not need to remove their masks to play their instruments.

Band, choir and orchestra have all changed their concerts so that they can make music together while also remaining safe. Students videos are compiled and edited together to make it sound like one musical group.

“We’re trying to do pre-recorded video concerts where all the students have recorded the material themselves individually,” said Molloy.

Science classes have also had to change due to not being able to do as many labs in person. Teachers have used online platforms such as Gizmo and Pivot to share virtual labs. Even when students are in person it is harder to do a lab. 

“These labs typically take three to four days to do with the hybrid model. If you’re here for a period one day a week… that doesn’t lend enough time for the data collection portion,” said James Lotarski, standard biology and AP Biology teacher.

Teachers and students have also had to work within safety measures. Equipment is not allowed to be shared between students. Unfortunately, some classrooms do not have enough equipment for each student to get their own set. Some teachers have demonstrated labs in class.

“A lot of our teachers are doing demos and recording them themselves for the students to see the labs going on,” said Jared McCall, chemistry and forensics teacher.

Although classes have had to change this year, teachers have faith that St. Charles North will be alright. 

“I think if we continue doing what we’re doing and we continue to put forth the effort that we are, I think we’ll be okay,” said McCall.