Students and teachers in the Allamakee Community School District embrace technology during COVID-19 pandemic

Zoom application at East Elementary School ... In addition to teaching her in-person students in her third grade classroom at East Elementary School in Waukon, Mrs. Sara Retallick also provides virtual instruction to students learning from home via Zoom application software through the open computer pictured on the large desk in the center of the photo. Submitted photo.

Virtual learning at Waukon High School ... Waukon High School senior Matt Ronan interacts with 11 of his classmates who are in his same class virtually via the computer at right. Submitted photo.

submitted by Allamakee Community Education Association

Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) is adjusting to the changes prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak. One of those options for students is to learn from a location different than the school by remote means.

To accomplish learning remotely, usually from home, teachers and students are using an application called Zoom. Also being used are the learning management systems Canvas and Seesaw, along with free programs like Quizlet, Socrative and Google Documents.

Zoom allows students who are home to connect on their computers to the school. Students at home and in the classroom, along with the teacher in the classroom, can interact with video and audio, in real time. Occasionally, there are internet connection issues, but these have been relatively rare for students and teachers.

“School is different if you do online, in a lot of ways,” eighth grader Dakota Steiber said. “You don’t get to see your friends as much as you used too and sometimes it is a bit harder to understand your homework.”

Still, Zoom does allow remote learners the chance to interact with the teacher and classmates when concerns arise. “If I have any questions, it is easy for me to speak up and ask my teacher,” freshman Ebonie Pitts reflected. “It is sometimes harder to get the teacher’s attention.”

Families are choosing this remote option for varying reasons. Junior Braden Hemann stays home to be safer. “I like that I have no risk of having to quarantine because of who I am sitting with at school,” he said.

There are other health benefits. “Zoom helps me sleep more because I do not have to get up early,” senior Jason Troester noted.

Several teachers commented at a recent meeting about how everyone involved is becoming more efficient and versed using Zoom while maintaining a productive classroom for the students attending in person.

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