by Amaya Willis
April 12, 2020
With the world suffering from the effects of COVID-19, schools have been forced to search for alternatives to in-person learning. Some schools have given students video lessons and packets of work to do. In BUA’s case, teachers have taken to online classes using Zoom, a popular video-conferencing tool around the globe.
However, many BUA students and parents have shown concern about the effectiveness of remote learning and its influence on classroom dynamics. For example, are students in music sections expected to play pieces in the house where other family members may be working or learning remotely as well? How will art sections go on with not every student having the necessary materials? How do tests and assessments work now that teachers cannot proctor? Teachers have been trying their best to find answers to these questions and to work around difficulties associated with the move to online learning.
Despite a few concerns and conflicts, remote learning is very effective for BUA’s situation. It allows the BUA community to be safe, and students learn almost as much as they would in in-person classes. Some students find that they have a more flexible schedule with asynchronous classes or fewer classes. Office hours exist through private Zoom calls so that if students need any help outside of class, they can receive it. Group advisories still happen weekly, and students can schedule a one-on-one session with their advisors when necessary. Though students may take some time to get used to remote school, Zoom-based classes provide students with learning similar to the kind they would get in person. Remote learning does lack the social factor of in-person learning, which many students miss. Nevertheless, students can work around the distance in their own ways. BUA has already made many moves to decrease the virtual distance: clubs have moved online, Student Council has made an Instagram account to keep the community connected, and many use social media to communicate daily. Remote learning is useful for keeping up with the work originally planned for the second half of the spring semester, and it helps students grow as scholars. After all, BUA students learn without any limits.