Learning beyond the screen

Students and teachers note the benefits of in-person HUB time, in comparison to learning through Zoom


Alex Felt

With masks required and social distancing guidelines in place, students are now able to attend in-person HUB time, if invited by their teacher.

Making her way towards a class, a girl’s footsteps echo throughout the lonely campus.

On September 15, teachers welcomed back six students at a time for on campus HUB time, getting their first taste of the delicate balance of teaching online and in-person. 

Ryan Beidler is an IM1 and IM2 teacher at GBHS. He has hosted in-person HUB time and said the hard part was dividing up the time evenly between his four classes.

“As soon as we could invite kids to come on campus, I did that, so that I can work with them in-person,” Beidler said. “The challenge was we also have to service the kids that want to come online. So you’re running a circus.”

Junior Maverick Dillon has attended in-person HUB for the Granite Bay Today Media multiple times. Dillon found that in-person HUB time is more beneficial for him.

“I prefer in-person because I definitely get that connection that you get with the teacher instead of just the screen,” Dillon said. “I think when I go in, I am satisfied.”

Katherine Farias, an IM3 math teacher at GBHS, invited multiple students on-campus for HUB time,  and although only one showed up, Farias is kept on her toes.

“My HUB is so busy as a math teacher that even when I had one person come on campus, I still needed to open my HUB on Zoom,” said Farias.

Farias said that last year’s in-person Grizz Time was more effective because the exchange of information was easier.

“(They) open their book. It’s right there. There isn’t time spent (searching for the assignment on my computer),” Farias said. “It’s so much harder to answer a question virtually.     It takes forever on a computer to find what one person is looking at, share my screen, explain it, go to the next person, (and repeat the process). It’s so much more time consuming.”

Students also face struggles attending virtual HUB time.

(For virtual HUB), you get the connection issues, you stutter out, you miss what (the teachers) are talking about. I don’t see any issues with in-person.

— Maverick Dillon

“(For virtual HUB), you get the connection issues, you stutter out, you miss what (the teachers) are talking about,” Dillon said. “I don’t see any issues with in-person.”

For Beidler and his students, in-person HUB time seems to be more effective, as he has already seen a change in some of the students who attend in-person HUB.

“We’re created to actually relate with one another in-person,” Beidler said. “We live in a digital world and yes, you can communicate. You don’t get the authenticity that you get when you actually work with somebody, one on one. You get a different perspective.”

Through the logistics of balancing in-person and online students and encouraging students to come to campus who may have transportation difficulties, Biedler sees this as an opportunity to demonstrate character to his students.

“As I come to the end of each week, I’m hoping that I did a good job of demonstrating to the kids that there (are) certain times in your life where complaining about a situation doesn’t solve a problem,” Beidler said. “Making excuses doesn’t solve the problem. But (by working with other people) you can make the most of the situation. I’m always impressed with these kids that are continuing to push on and be really great.”

Even with all the struggles of technology, the students are grateful for the aid given to them by their teachers.

“My chemistry teacher, Mrs. Henderson, definitely helps out when I go in,” Dillon said.

The teachers are also grateful for the help and support from their tech-savvy students.

“I think the kids understand that I’m trying to do everything I can for them and others,” Beidler said. “And I think they appreciate that.”