Various apps make e-learning different for everyone

Since the COVID-19 virus has closed New Trier, the majority of students have been active in each class through Canvas’ e-learning platform. Some teachers have chosen to communicate with students through other apps like Zoom and Google Meets.

Many teachers have been continuing their online learning on Canvas, a web-based learning management system. The Zoom and Google Meets app has a video conferencing feature that Canvas doesn’t have. This allows live conversation between students and teachers about any questions, lectures, or homework for the day. 

Sophomore Erica Hur uses Zoom for her chemistry class. 

“Zoom is different [to Canvas] because it’s a face to face interaction with your teacher where you can ask questions directly to them.”

 Hur said her assignments are much shorter, video-based, and self-guided since there isn’t a teacher there to explain things. 

 Senior Katie Miller also uses Zoom for her Chinese class. “When I read a paragraph on Canvas, sometimes I get confused on what they are actually asking. This way I can actually talk with them and get a quick response.”

 Miller uses Google Meets for her anatomy class and believes that it is necessary since the lecture information is not something she can learn on her own. Sophomore Merrick Kehoe also believes that Google Meets is necessary for her math and biology class. 

 “I honestly like it better than Canvas. Canvas I feel just can be really disorganized if you have a disorganized teacher and I think the language teachers use through Google Meets make learning so much more proficient during this e-learning time that we’re in,” said Kehoe. 

Science teacher John Gridley uses Canvas announcements, Zoom meetings, and Remind to communicate with his students. He finds it helpful to talk to students face-to-face  through Zoom. Students are able to ask questions as needed through a chat feature.  

“I feel the optional Zoom meets is about the closest thing to being in class without being in class. Our Zoom meetings are optional, but students have attended our brief Zoom meetings regularly. Some students are quiet and some speak up as if it was a regular classroom,” said Gridley. 

Science teacher Michael Clough said his communication with students has not been a problem yet. Students who have issues email him directly and he has tried to respond in a timely manner to answer their concerns. He has been using a website called Edpuzzle, an assignment for the quarantine that students were familiar with, to have students answer questions while watching lecture videos.

“[Edpuzzle] scores are directly sent to me.  Throughout the year this app has saved classroom time to discuss concepts and do more hands-on learning at school,” said Clough. 

New Trier students and teachers are finding the best way for communication which looks different for each class. Through the e-learning process, teachers are trying to relay information to students for them to best succeed in digital learning. 

“A few teachers and I went up to talk to the IT dept. and we learned Zoom meets. They taught it to me in an hour, but I am still learning some of its features. Students have been amazing because they want to learn, and this optional zoom meeting seems to help them,” said Gridley.