Auto Class Online, What’s the Difference?

Auto Class Online, What's the Difference?

Alexzander (AJ) Braaten, contributor

All teachers and students are figuring out this new online schooling system that was thrown at them. Each class has had a different experience with online learning, but some teachers have had to get creative with their teaching style out of necessity. Auto teacher Jack Ramsey, who’s worked at Sahuaro since 2004, had a unique challenge ahead of him when it came to online schooling.

Unlike most classes where you can do all of your classwork and homework online, Auto requires hands-on work that you can’t just do in a zoom meeting. He’s had to entirely make his own videos showing what students would be learning in class, along with giving out assignments that need to be graded. That might not sound, bad but when coupled with the fact that most of the things given to aide in the teaching process have failed, this is a problem. When asked if there was any source that the students could use to help themselves outside of his videos Ramsey stated, “Yes, we do have an online source (cdx), but unfortunately it isn’t working for us at the moment.” Then you add on top of that Zoom, the domain that all teachers and students use for communication, has an array of problems as well. Some students haven’t been able to join the meetings and according to him: “Half of the students can’t download the links I sent from chat.” All of this is definitely bad but luckily for his students, he has a plan for it all.

Fortunately for all teachers that are figuring out virtual learning, they all had a bit of practice in the fourth quarter last year. “I had already made videos for fourth quarter last year, but now I’ve got to make new videos for the near future,” said Mr. Ramsey when asked if he had any prior preparation before the 2020 school year. While making videos is a smart alternative to in-class teaching, you still never know if the students are really learning anything or just letting their videos auto-play in the background. To prevent students from doing that, he used a simple yet effective strategy. According to Mr. Ramsey, “They send pictures of them pointing at specific parts of the engine to show they understand the videos.”  Quite possibly the biggest problem with teaching an auto class online is not being able to have the students work on the cars in person. With no supervision and none of the proper tools, this is the most devastating part of online auto class. “I don’t want any of the (beginner) students working on their parents’ cars where they might mess something up.” Without most of the necessary tools to run a successful class, this virus has thrown us all for a loop. It’s up to us to hold on tight, remain patient, and get through it as best we can.

Even though classes all look different now we still have to get our education and start off the school year right. There are many complications to online school, so we must come up with innovative new ways to get the same information through completely different methods. To this, Mr. Ramsey would say, “We’ve got a raw deal but you just have to go ahead and teach it.”