As both Denver and Aurora Public Schools begin the second quarter of the year, KidsTek high school instructors are preparing for a partial return to in-person learning. Senior Instructor Emily Tow, who teaches at North and Florence Crittenton High Schools in Denver and Instructor Katy Limes, who teaches at Hinkley High School in Aurora, are working hard to understand and prepare for these changes.
At Hinkley, Limes anticipates having one section of her class in person and one section remote. She will be teaching Intro to Programming during Quarter 2 of the spring semester. Limes says she finds Discord and Google Classroom to be great tools for her students. “[Discord] lets me engage the students through voice chat, video chat, text chat, and little polls that I can do in the chat,” said Limes. “It also lets me send them notifications to remind them when a break’s over or it’s time to turn in an assignment.”
North High classes will remain remote for now. Tow teaches one section of Business Computing there and her classes meet synchronously 2-3 times per week via Zoom. Florence Crittenton will be starting out with a hybrid model, in which there are two cohorts of students, each attending two days in-person and three days remotely. Unlike North, however, remote learning days are asynchronous for Florence Crittenton students, meaning students can complete work on their own schedules instead of live, specific class times.
“Completely asynchronous remote learning can be a challenge. While it’s great that my students have the flexibility to complete their work despite their difficult-to-manage schedules, it can be difficult for students to feel connected to the class and teacher,” said Tow. “I’m really looking forward to having some in-person classes because I hope that it will increase student engagement and connection.”
Navigating the myriad changes in education during the age of Covid is a big challenge, but the KidsTek staff is working hard to find the best ways to support their students!