This year, labs look a little different in Gerry Ludwig’s AP Physics class at Fox Lane High School. Lab tables are no longer crowded with students as they work together to solve a problem or explore something new. Instead, one (or, at most, two) students sits at each lab table, a Chromebook set up in front of them connecting them with remote classmates.
“Each student is tied to two to four kids at home,” Ludwig explained. “The kids at home collect data through the Google Meet and do the same calculations.”
In the classroom, a handful of students release small metal carts down a ramp. They talk with remote classmates, sharing crucial information so that all of the students can determine the acceleration of the cart down the incline using linearization.
Ludwig noted how different labs are this year from years past, saying that teachers are continually modifying lessons to make sure they work best for both in-person and remote students in this brand new learning environment.
“The fact that we’re able to do this at all is really a credit to Dave Gee and his crew,” Ludwig said, referring to the district’s technology department. “They worked really hard over the summer to make all of this possible.”
Although teachers have had to adapt their lessons and methods of teaching and schools are a little quieter than usual, students in Ludwig’s class were still fully engaged. Laughing with their remote classmates and turning their Chromebooks to aim their cameras just right, it was clear they too had found a way to acclimate to the new normal.