Clash of the classrooms
Florescent lights flicker and chalk flakes flutter to the ground as the white stick curves out endless words onto an ugly green chalkboard. The scene described is what many will imagine if you were to say "school."
No longer, though, is this the case; teachers are finding innovative ways to make their classrooms more interactive and less tedious. Two of the most common methods teachers are offering are the flipped classroom and online classes.
Ginger Frye, a gym and health teacher, oversees multiple online classes each semester. “This semester I only have two traditional health [classes], and I have three online PE and one online health,” Frye said.
Many students choose to take online in order to free up their schedules or create less stress in their school day.
Sophomore Corey Simmerer has taken two online courses. “I decided to take online health last year and online US history over the summer so I have room in my schedule for classes I’m more passionate about,” Simmerer said.
While online classes offer the chance to partake in more classes, the course cannot be as extensive.
“With online, you need to push yourself to learn because there is no teacher next to you to guide you. You have to be independent,” Simmerer said.
Another common classroom setup is called the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom has students listen to short lectures online for homework at night to free up class time for more interactive activities.
Sophomore Zach Schroeder uses the flipped classroom in his Honors Biology class. “I like it, I like the idea of being able to go at my own pace,” Schroeder said.
Of course, like all things, there are pros and cons. Since, all the notes are taken online, technology problems are bound to come into play.
“Students who don’t have access to the Internet can’t view needed materials. It’s also easier for mistakes to happen with technology, which would cause problems for learning,” Schroeder said.
The flipped classroom may not be perfect, but has gained the approval of many. Jamie Gilbert, an Honors Biology teacher, has used the flipped classroom for years. “I know that some students absolutely hate it, and others love it,” Gilbert said.
Classrooms continue to evolve every day. Learning is becoming more interactive, and most importantly, more fun.