Adjusting to online changes

With Diamond Bar High School beginning online classes in August, students and teachers alike are preparing themselves to adapt to distance learning.

For rising senior Nancy Mofti, school closure has had a positive impact on her level of productivity, as she was given the chance to try new things and catch up on activities she didn’t have the time for when attending physical school. She believes online classes will allow her to spend more time with her family because she won’t need to attend in-person extracurricular activities. 

“I think distance learning will give me an opportunity to get closer to my family, especially my siblings, because we aren’t used to being at the same place at the same time with school,” Mofti said via Instagram. 

Mofti feels that math and science classes will be harder to learn online, based on the lack of teacher involvement students experienced in April and May. She also said that since distance learning is a relatively new concept to both DBHS students and teachers, being open minded is the best way to adapt to the change.

“Since it’s the first time we are going through with a new and revised plan to start school virtually, we should accept that there will be changes made to the way that we are normally used to learning and that some things won’t be completely the same,” Mofti said. 

Hilary Wang, a rising junior, said she is expecting the online transition to go smoothly for her, since she found that she could move at her own pace during distance learning last year. However, she’s wary of having her camera on during classes, because she doesn’t feel comfortable with showing her face.

“Teachers may be concerned that students aren’t paying attention in class, so they may want their cameras turned on, but I really don’t feel it matters that much,” Wang said via Instagram. “I feel it should be optional.”

Wang is taking Photography this year, which is the only class she’s curious to see adapt virtually, since she suspects that she will need to download certain programs on her computer to edit pictures. She predicts that her other classes, such as Spanish, won’t be too different online. 

“There aren’t really any changes I want to see [next school year], since when I adapted to distance learning everything was pretty smooth,” Wang said. “I would probably say to just make instructions very clear to students so we don’t mess up constantly and have to email back and forth.” 

Rising sophomore Eva Simone hopes that she adjusts smoothly into online class and learns to be more conscious of how she spends her time. She said that she will need to remember to regard distance learning with the same importance as in-seat learning, which was something she had trouble with in April and May.

“When we were just beginning distance learning and it was new to everyone, it almost didn’t even feel like school,” Simone said via Instagram.

Simone also hopes that distance learning will become more structured, with strict lesson plans and due dates. She believes that classes such as Commercial Music will be harder to grade online, since a big part of that class involves grading students on performance. 

“With all of the other classes that require practicing with a group, I think that is going to be very difficult to grade properly and fairly,” Simone said.

In the upcoming school year, Richard Langham, the DBHS choir teacher, is placing more emphasis on the individual skill of each student instead of group work. Since he’s had more time to prepare for online classes, Langham said he hopes to have more interactions with his students. 

“Now that there has been time to plan, I want to make sure the students have a great experience in choir, and I want to help them grow and thrive as performers, even if from afar,” Langham said via email.