On Thursday, March 12, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that starting Mon. March 16, all Ohio public and private schools, K-12, will be closed through Friday, April 3, out of concern of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With this news, McNick looks to online options to continue learning.
In response, McNicholas will use Microsoft Teams for virtual lessons and learning. “This is your connection to your teachers,” Director of Technology Andy Ey said in a presentation to students during math classes on Friday, March 13, where they learned how to use Microsoft Teams.
McNicholas already had Monday, March 16, scheduled as a professional development day for faculty and staff, and will dedicate this day along with Tuesday, March 17, to meet with teachers about learning and teaching digitally. More information about daily schedules will be discussed and decided at these meetings. Virtual classes for all students will tentatively begin on Wednesday, March 18.
Takeaways students need to know now:
- Virtual classes are to be treated as actual schooldays. Take notes and participate as you typically would. Faculty is hoping to have schedules be sent out daily. Attendance will be taken in each class and students can be marked absent and/or tardy.
- For any emergency tablet problems over the next few weeks, Director of Technology Andy Ey and Director of Educational Technology Emily Materna will be at McNicholas at select hours if needed. Emergency tablet problems are any problems that sincerely inhibit you from completing your digital lessons. (Ex. Tablet not turning on, audio/microphone not working, camera not working, etc.)
- When it comes to assessments, “Assessments are going to look different than they do physically in this building, and they’re going to look different from class to class,” Ey said. Alternative assessments, like essays and more writing based tests or quizzes, could appear rather than regular tests. Microsoft Teams will not be replacing Schoology. “We are not moving out content from Schoology to Teams,” Ey said. Teachers will still post assignments through Schoology or email.
- To improve the quality of the class, mute your audio to reduce unnecessary feedback. If you have a question, instead of asking it through the call, ask through the chat as a virtual hand raising. Gaming headsets, or headsets with a microphone, are very beneficial to make the audio and your responses clearer.
- Flexibility and communication are KEY. Your teachers are still learning and trying their best to create successful and productive online lessons and activities. Email your teacher if you are unsure about an assignment. Check Schoology, OneNote, school email, and Microsoft Teams often to stay up to date. Email will be the main form of communication throughout these next three weeks. The next few weeks are about being flexible and doing the best we can. This is new territory for everyone, we’re all learning together.
- Spring sports, prom, and other school events are currently still in question.
- If you need a refresher on how to set up your Microsoft Teams classes, click here.
WATCH THE MILESTONE – we will be updating this story as new information becomes available.