March 25, 2020
This story series illustrates how our community is embracing, growing, and connecting through virtual learning together. Read on to see what MPA junior Isak Dai looks forward to as #MPAgoesvirtual!
While virtual learning may look and feel different than a regular school day, Isak breaks it down in a way that makes it feel very familiar, even away from campus–to him, virtual learning is “bundling up the work we do at school and doing it at home through the internet.”
“Before our current situation, we certainly were practicing some aspects of virtual learning by accessing online resources like Schoology, but now have been forced to take all of MPA online,” he said. “My hope is that through this challenge we can learn to take advantage of the many virtual learning resources at our disposal and take these lessons with us when we eventually return to school as usual.”
Throughout the past week, Isak has been helping his teachers prepare for virtual learning by participating in various test runs of online learning platforms. “It is great to see people’s faces and hear their voices. Some friends have set up a Skype group and hopefully we can use that regularly to connect,” he said. “The MPA Student Council is also working to create virtual platforms for the Upper School to socialize and connect.” Even though Isak was participating in test runs over his spring break, he found exploring the virtual learning platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to be surprisingly fun and felt, with the help of his dedicated teachers and supportive classmates, almost seamless to transition the classroom environment to an online space. “I’m excited to use these platforms both during class and for extracurricular things like clubs so students have a chance to conduct their business online. When we get back to school, I’m sure we will continue to use these resources to coordinate in other settings,” he said.
In his “classroom” at home, Isak has commandeered my sister’s room (Ingrid Dai ’16), now that she has moved out of the house. The room has a beautiful south-facing window, allowing for lots of bright natural light. He is also actively trying to do all of his work in that space to create some resemblance of separation between school and home.
“It will be hard to create the same feeling of being in a room with your classmates, and this can create challenges both in connecting with peers and in having the same learning experience,” Isak said. “Hopefully, we can all rise to the challenge and go about our business as usual. In any event, this whole experience has reminded me how much I value and appreciate my peers and teachers, and I hope to be back with them in person soon. I just hope that we can all use these new challenges to adapt and learn how to use technology to learn, create, and stay connected.”