STEAM Stories: Distance Learning in Wisconsin at Gibraltar and Stockbridge High School


Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math are a critical component in helping the U.S. succeed now, and into the future. We are proud to present this week’s STEAM Story in partnership with CESA 7.

In this week's STEAM Story, Emily Severson and Adelle Carlisle share their Distance Learning experience at Gibraltar and Stockbridge High School.

Secondary school counselor Chelsea Roberts defines Distance Learning as the opportunity for students to take classes offered from other schools, while on location at Gibraltar high school.

Stockbridge French teacher Kelly Romenesko shares her view on Distance Learning, which is coordinated in real time with no delays. The experience is like having offsite students in the same classroom.

Emily Severson, Stockbridge Class of 2020, says that Distance Learning is a fun and easy way to learn. It's like being in a normal class.

Adelle Carlisle, Gibraltar Class of 2021, states that it's another opportunity to take a class that you are interested in that isn't available at your school. You are part of a class with a teacher from another region who interacts with Wisconsin students via video conferencing technology.

Ms. Romenesko says the classes are conducted via the Blue Jeans video conferencing platform. It's easy to use and user-friendly, with many different functions.

Ms. Roberts adds, "The flexibility of the software technology programs that we're able to use really gives kids the opportunity to take those classes that they wouldn't normally be able to take here... but also their schedule flexibility allows them to take the classes that they need, or want to take here, and then we can fit those technology classes in their schedule anywhere, especially if the teacher is willing and able to record them so they can learn on our student bell schedule. The flexibility has made a big difference."

"One thing that I really enjoy is that if you're gone for some reason, or if you miss a class, she'll still send you the recordings so you can watch it on your own time. And then you are up-to-date with everything — and so you can just keep on track, even if you are not in class that day." says Adelle.

Ms. Roberts continues, "The nice thing too, as far as flexibility goes, is that they can also do it from home... which is great. So when a teacher is recording them, and maybe for us, our kids miss some school in the afternoon if they're leaving for athletic events, or things like that due to travel, they're able to stay caught-up in their classes because they are able to watch those recordings from home or on the bus. So the technology piece has been really helpful for them."

Chad Marx, Stockbridge schools superintendent, concludes in stating "Education is all about opportunities for kids. And Distance Learning helps us provide those opportunities. And those actual direct teacher... student-teacher interactions, I think, is even more important than online classes. If you compare it to a regular online class, Distant Learning gives that direct student-teacher interaction, which I think is invaluable to a lot of students."