Support for Virtual, Hybrid, and In-Classroom Learning
Learn More

Jonathan, Student, Sweetwater Union HS District, CA

[00:00:00] Hello, my name is Jonathan Epper and I'm a student at Hilltop High School, and today I want to talk a little bit about my opinions on distance learning and about some of the experiences that I've had through my summer school health class I took online this year. So first off, this health class was extra meaningful to me because it was the first time in a year that I had taken a class with the district. I had to take the 2020 school year off. I was going through chemo treatment and I wasn't really in a state where I could continue the AP course load that I had at the time. So having the option of an online summer school class to get back in the rhythm was really, really, really helpful. And I'm very glad that the district gave that option to students to continue their studies even when they're stuck inside during quarantine. As for the class itself, a couple of notes that I took away from it is obviously having the classes online adds a lot of flexibility for the students. They can mold the schedule a little bit more to fit whatever else is going on in their life and they can work on the class when they have the time to work on the class.

[00:01:06] As far as the class itself. I really appreciated all of the different charts and graphs and different methods that the website used to teach the subject matter. I thought I did it very well, and I was also pleasantly surprised that even though the class was online, I still got to talk to a teacher and still got to have classmates throughout the course, which in my case was a three week course. And on top of all this, the class had a sort of calendar that displayed how many assignments I needed to get done every day. And it was very, very simplistic. And it told me what I needed to know, told me how much how many assignments I had, how many I need to do each day, kind of around, how much time it would take it. It really let me visualize what the course load was like, which I think would be very, very beneficial to students who are trying to mold their schedule around these courses.

[00:02:07] I know there can be concerns about, with in-class learning is it's more of one-on-one with teachers, but I found that even online there's a lot of student-teacher interaction and I had lots of opportunities to contact my teacher with questions. And it worked very, very well. And as far as where the online classes go in the future, as evidenced by things like Khan Academy, we already know that technology can do a lot to further our knowledge and education. And I'm confident that the district will use all of the tools that they have to help us students learn effectively.

[00:02:47] And I know that the capacity and the potential that these online classes have is very high. I'm confident that the district will do everything they can to make these classes as great as they can, because they're already putting their students first by keeping us online to start the school year and keeping not only the safety of their students, but their teachers and not only teachers, but also the parents of the students and family members—everyone who could possibly be involved. I really appreciate, as someone with an impacted immune system, that the district is not taking the Coronavirus lightly, especially being that we're in the South Bay and we have an even greater risk of the Coronavirus. So I'm very appreciative of that. And I really want to thank you for that.

[00:03:34] As far as advice I could give about the online classes as an AP student, I would greatly appreciate that we still have the option to continue our normal AP course load that we were planning to have anyway when we would be going to school face-to-face in person through this online mode. Hopefully the district will be able to continue a lot of their AP classes because I know there's a lot of students who are hoping that they can continue their education and continue the plan that they've had through their school year, even if it's online. And as an AP student, it would just mean a lot if you keep those AP classes in consideration when you're planning all of these online curriculums.

[00:04:28] But I have a lot of faith that you guys will do what's best for us. And I just want to say thank you for all the work you guys are doing. And I know that whatever will happen, it will be what's best for the students and the parents and the teachers. And I'm thankful for all the work you guys are putting into it. So have a wonderful rest of your week. And thanks for listening. Bye bye.