Hybrid Teaching

Teachers’ Perspectives on Synchronous Learning

This+is+a+look+at+Hasty%27s+OWL+Camera%2C+a+360-degree+camera+that+he+uses+to+show+synchronous+learners+what%27s+going+on+in+class.+The+other+two+cameras+on+the+owl+track+people+that+are+talking+or+moving+the+classroom.

Photo by Screenshot taken by Jack Stonecipher

This is a look at Hasty’s OWL Camera, a 360-degree camera that he uses to show synchronous learners what’s going on in class. The other two cameras on the owl track people that are talking or moving the classroom.

When the global pandemic of COVID-19 forced schools to go to E-Learning towards the end of last year, there were questions forming about how the next school year would begin. With many options on the table, there was one option that Roncalli High School chose to start the year with. The Synchronous Learning model (or Hybrid Learning,) is a schedule that has half of the students in person in the classroom, while the other half is at home, learning from an online meeting room. 

Many students have said that they have mixed opinions on it, whether they like it because they don’t have to stress too much with being in school half the time, or they hate it because students can’t see some of their friends. The one thing that has been overlooked by some people is as follows: What do the teachers think of Synchronous Learning?

“I do not like the aspect of not being able to see the kids every day,” social studies teacher Mr. Hasty said. “If we can keep it in a way that we can see the kids while being safe, then this model is alright.”

This new temporary normal has gotten Hasty tied up in a knot with class procedure.

“I usually enjoy doing group discussions and projects so the students can talk amongst themselves about the material, but with what’s going on, I just can’t do that anymore.”

With these new changes for the contact between anyone, it also changes what Hasty calls “the new smart.”He said, “I have noticed that there is a new smart: You have to be adaptive in order to do your best. The ‘old smart’ was how many facts can you memorize and use in class.”

A new idea for how students can move on with this new system. With things changing our everyday routine, there may be a few things that we get out of this that is positive.

 “I think that with this new system, we can basically replace Snow Makeup days,” English teacher Mr. Milroy said in an online meeting. “We are learning how to communicate online, so we will have the experience with these tools to conduct other gatherings online.”

Snow makeup days could be replaced with our current synchronous learning. Teachers give the lessons from either school or home while the students are online in the meetings listening to the lesson. This would, however, lower the amount of contact that the teachers have with their students. 

“I want to be in contact more with my students,” Milroy said. “It is better to be in person than to be talking through a screen.”

Since everyone must stay six feet apart, with masks on, we want the best social aspect of school to continue while everyone is all safe as well. The synchronous learning model is a good way to continue in-person socializing while being precautious of the spread of germs. As doctors try to find a vaccine for this virus, all we can do is continue forward.