Students take on adapted hands-on learning


Junior Jinho Yoo-Rodriguez plays his violin in class.

A new school year has begun, making it time for students to pack their book bags… and head off to their rooms for distance learning. As students have been attending classes virtually, they must contend with how to learn hands-on courses online.

“Every day is a mini lesson along with an in-home workout

,” PE teacher Kathleen Ayers said.

As odd as it may sound, students are having to rely solely on videos for activities. Teachers are now having to find new alternatives to teach their students.

The Auto Tech class is using “Electude,” a website that provides simulations where students can practice working on cars. Although this new way of learning has met some criticism.

“There is still a lot we can learn virtually but it’s not as effective as being in the shop” said senior Nick Pemberton, enrolled in Auto Tech 3.

Many students take advantage of the many hands-on courses available at Annandale High School, that range from orchestra all the way to ceramics. To keep that going, teachers are attempting to still grant students access to those resources.

For instance, the Orchestra department has sent up a date where students can turn in a form and receive their instrument at the school. Despite this positive step, students still greatly miss the social and collaborative aspect of these classes.

“You’re supposed to be able to play together in a big band,” said senior Dawud Bundu, enrolled in Wind Ensemble. “If you’re just by yourself, you’re not learning.”

With the change of learning environment, many are left to wonder when things will go back to normal. As of now, select high school CTE courses are among the initial groups to return to school in the coming weeks. In the meantime, students will have to adjust to this new normal.