Christy Hodges, Tecumseh, NE

"A new pearl is formed" from the difficulties of distance learning

July 23, 2020 |

We are asking how COVID-19 is impacting rural communities. Read below for a perspective from Christy Hodges of Tecumseh, NE. You can share yours here: http://bit.ly/iaartcovid

I Zoom to each one of my classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for 30 minutes. Three of the five preps that I have are for college credit, and I am required to continue with new material (not review and enrichment). One of my main concerns is maintaining a level of student engagement via distance learning on a Zoom platform. I record all of my Zoom sessions and post them on Google Classroom so they are accessible for students to review, for parents to watch if they want, and for students that miss the Zoom session when it was live.

Here is a snippet of one of my Zoom classes, Zoology, we are learning about Molluscs: https://youtu.be/F7tDo5EtXYg

Specifically when talking about the body plan of a clam, a student asks how a 'pearl' is made in a clam. I think this little minute and a half snippet shows that I have accomplished the following in a Zoom class:

1. Engaged students in their learning (student response is high & they are asking questions)

2. Connected new material with what they already know

3. Teaching across the curriculum

Most if not all the students had previously taken my botany class when we talked about parasitic plants (Mistletoe) and how the symbolism we connect to our culture & traditions are completely opposite of the true form and function of the species. The symbolism of a pearl is a new love and a forever commitment. Sand gets lodged between the shell and the mantle, and a pearl is formed from an irritation/cyst in the clam.

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