Barneveld Schools Newsletter
A community striving toward excellence in education.
Distance Learning Through the Eyes of a Teacher
By: Aubree Danz-Fry
When news of Covid-19 first surfaced, most had assumed it was all bark and no bite, or at least we all had hoped it was. Nevertheless, a few months later we all learned that this virus was the big dog it had claimed to be. That being said, everything has changed in a blink of an eye; the biggest change, though, has been the closure of schools. This isn’t how anyone expected the school year to go and I bet that Mr. Vergeront, the high school math teacher, most definitely didn't think this is how his first year at Barneveld was going to go. The transition to Distance Learning has been difficult for everyone involved and has required an immense amount of patience. Hard at work, teachers are constantly trying to figure out new ways to reach the students while being separated by a screen. Teachers have first hand experience of the challenges and opportunities that have risen from this situation. Mr. Vergeront shares his experience that he's had with Distance Learning.
When asked about a positive experience that Mr. Vergeront had with Distance Learning, his response was, “I have been inspired and motivated by the eagerness that most students have shown towards resuming their learning. It was refreshing for me to see how quickly many students began to miss both school, and interacting with their peers.” Vergeront has noticed a change in his students' attitude towards school, especially since schools have switched to distance learning. Although it is amazing seeing such a positive change stem from distance learning, it is no surprise that there are also negative changes as well.
Vergeront notes a negative experience he's had with Distance Learning, that being, well, the distance. He states that, “Until recently, I was unaware of how frequently I use feedback from students when teaching. "Reading the room" by using body-language, eye-contact, and student involvement to inform the effectiveness of my teaching is something that I do constantly.” The ability to do many of those things goes out the window when you are separated from students by miles instead of feet.” From a teacher's perspective, one of the hardest parts of Distance Learning is gauging students' understanding, while also ensuring that students are being attentive and actively participating. Additionally, Mr. Vergeront really dislikes the feeling that he’s talking to an empty room, so he greatly appreciates all of the student involvement that he’s received. Although, this isn't exactly the outcome we all had hoped for, it is one that we all can use to grow.
Prompted with how he has grown during this experience, Vergeront replied with, “Teaching remotely has driven me to adapt my instruction and rapidly increase my knowledge of various technologies. Before this experience with distance learning, I had never used Zoom and rarely touched my iPad. Fast forward to the present and I spend hours each day on both. I feel that as a District we are very fortunate to have the technological capabilities that we do; I cannot imagine trying to teach Math currently without the option for my students and I write electronically in a program like Notability.” Because of the advancements in technology, we are very well equipped to excel in distance learning. This transition to distance learning hasn’t been the smoothest, but everyday we are working to make it better. We are all struggling during this time of uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean that we all can’t use this time as an opportunity to grow.
Distance Learning: A Student’s Perspective
By: Karley Moore
When it comes to this new “full-time” virtual learning, it is no surprise that there are flaws in the system. Though, one benefit that the Barneveld School District has, is that many of the students were using the technology at home before being forced to go online; however, for all, the way the technology would now be used was different then what they were used to doing. With that being said, new apps have been discovered to meet with classes, as well as having new ways to communicate full time. All the new aspects in a student's life can be a bit challenging for everyone to adjust to. Some students may not have the best internet, or others may just miss the community that being in school gave them. So, with all that being said, we wanted to get a students perspective on what digital learning was like for them so far by asking for a positive experience, a challenge that has been experienced, and a way that they have grown from distance learning…
Nicole Fahey, a Freshman in High School was prompted with 3 questions, all of which described what her experience, and likely many others, has been like while doing distance learning. The first question she was asked about was a positive experience she has experienced from distance learning. One positive she mentioned was that her homework gets done faster, while also mentioning that she has enjoyed using technology that allows her to not have to be face to face to learn. However, she mentioned that not being able to be face to face with your teacher is also a challenge. For many students like Nicole, it can be a challenge to ask specific questions when problems on homework assignments aren’t working out. When this happens, it can be hard trying to figure out what’s the best way to ask for help, especially knowing that it would be easier to ask the question in person. Though there are definitely challenges everyone is facing right now, people can grow from this experience. Nicole said that one way she has grown is by becoming more proficient when doing work. She has been more focused because she doesn’t have the distraction of her classmates while in class.
We are all in this together, experiencing all the new aspects. There will be scenarios that will be positive, but there may also be challenges. However, there is room for everyone to grow from this distance learning experience. So with that being said, take a second, and ask yourself, your student, or someone you know, a positive experience, a challenge, and a way they have grown from this!
SeeSaw: Grades 4K-4th grade
A great way to communicate with elementary teachers.
Schoology: 5-12th grade
Students get communication, learning resources, assignments through this app. Parents can log in to see what their child sees.
Gmail: 3-12th grade
Students have Gmail accounts and can communicate directly with teachers. This is a primary form of communication for MS and HS students.
Schoology: 5-12th grade
Download the Barneveld School District App
Southwest Tech’s Charger Tech Academy information is now available!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Southwest Tech is not able to offer our summer camps in a face-to-face format on campus as originally planned; however, we were able to revise the camps to be offered in a virtual format. Charger Tech Academy, scheduled for June 23 and 24, is for students entering grades 9 – 12 in the 2020-2021 school year. Session topics will include culinary, emergency medical technician, computer-aided drafting, nursing, and cosmetology. Each session has a $15 material fee which will include a t-shirt to be sent to the participant’s home address.
For more information and registration please visit:
Please share this information through your school website, Facebook page, etc.
Tech Trek information will also be coming soon.