The Hidden Benefits of Remote Teaching at Regina Dominican

Mr. Ken Finder, Physics Teacher at Regina Dominican High School. (Photo/Stuart Rodgers)

Mr. Ken Finder, Physics Teacher at Regina Dominican High School. (Photo/Stuart Rodgers)

Michelle Glennon, Staff Reporter

As Regina Dominican enters their fifth week of school, 97% of the faculty is teaching in-person. The other 3% manages to deliver their lessons from home using Google Meets.

What does this mean for the students in these remotely-taught classes, and what differences does it make in the learning process? Although remote teaching is not ideal, Regina’s students and teachers have made the best of it and adapted very quickly.

In a typical remotely taught classroom at Regina, an assistant faculty member is present to project a live video meeting with the teacher onto the board. A camera and a microphone is situated in each classroom, so that the remote teacher can see the students and answer their questions in real time.

Google Meets, the live video application used by Regina’s remote teachers, has many features that allows the students to feel as engaged as an in-person class. For example, teachers are able to share their screen to present documents, slides, and videos. This screen-sharing feature also allows teachers to handwrite, something that is particularly helpful in math and science classes that involve solving equations. Having used Google Meets throughout e-learning during this past spring semester, Regina students and teachers were already very comfortable with using the application and its many features.

In addition to remotely taught classes, Regina has given further educational opportunities to its students by partnering with several online learning consortiums. The first of these consortiums that Regina partnered with was the Global Online Academy. Through Global Online Academy, Regina students can apply to take online courses and deepen their interests in classes that are not offered on campus. The GOA courses, which Regina provides at no extra fee, are taught by qualified teachers with classmates from all over the world.

Another online learning consortium that Regina has partnered with is One Schoolhouse, which, similar to the Global Online Academy, allows students to take classes that aren’t offered on campus at no additional charge. One Schoolhouse focuses on building an authentic relationship between teacher and student, and creating a personalized, learner-driven class environment.

Not only do these consortiums allow students to take classes of their interest, but they prepare students for college and later life. One Schoolhouse and Global Online Academy see remote learning, not as a detriment, but rather as utilizing the online experience to help students develop skills they wouldn’t receive in a traditional classroom setting. Since these classes are self-paced, students are pushed even further to develop skills such as self-advocacy and time management.

Mr. Finder, a science teacher who is teaching remotely at Regina, echoes similar ideas about the benefits of online learning.

Mr Finder states, “Of course, my students are juniors and seniors; they will be in college soon, where it is critically important that they take much more individual responsibility for their learning. So, if there is a “silver lining” in remote teaching (and remote learning) it may actually be preparing our students better to handle the transition to college.”

Mr. Finder also states that he has adjusted his teaching style to ensure his students are learning the needed material.

“I use homework assignments, not to grade a student, but to provide immediate informal feedback to each student through posting detailed comments on their work.”

Along with Regina’s other remote teachers, Mr. Finder offers virtual office hours for students to ask questions and get the help that they need.

Although many students tend to prefer face-to-face learning, Regina’s remote teachers have made the best out of remote learning during this school year, and continue to create a positive and beneficial experience for students.