By Morgan Hart
Mid morning on February 22nd, the internet at MGS suddenly crashed completely, leaving students and teachers frustrated and annoyed. It continued to stay down through Thursday night, but it was back in time for school on Friday. During those three days, teachers had to get creative with lesson plans, and students had to use old fashioned resources to complete assignments. Since almost everything these days is on Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Forms, and Google Slides, our normal way of doing things was disrupted. Students were also frustrated with the personal aspect of no internet as well. Here is what students and teachers have to say about the experience:
Amy Ernenputsch: 8th grade math teacher
How did the internet outage affect your lesson plans during the three days it was down?
When the internet went out, I had to quickly shift from using my guided notes to teaching using the whiteboard. For my Algebra class on the first day of the internet outage, I was in luck because I had already planned for the students to work in groups at the whiteboard practicing finding the axis of symmetry, vertex, and y-intercept given a quadratic function in standard form. For the rest of my classes, I had to revamp so they could learn using the whiteboard and in small groups. Luckily, the students were flexible during those days.
Did you think your lessons were more or less productive than they were with the internet?
I think my lessons were at least as productive, if not more. For years I taught without technology, so I was able to pivot quickly. One element that I appreciated was the students’ small group discussions during those days which I believe helped the students understand the material better as well as allowed me to assess the students’ understanding in a different way.
Lauren Poole: 8th grade student
What were some challenges to not having the internet?
I stressed out because there was confusion on what homework should be completed and by when. Not being able to talk to my friend Addy who lives in Florida.
Were there any positives?
Hanging out with family more.
Did you learn anything while we were without wi-fi?
I learned that I should not stress about it and I also noticed how different teachers will deal with these problems when trying to teach their class and give assignments.
Melanie Wallace: 8th grade language arts teacher
How do you think the students handled not being able to use their chromebooks?
When the internet outage affected our school day, I was really impressed at the flexibility of the students to adjust. With a revolving due date for assignments that were online, many students were very understanding of the due dates being bumped. Additionally, I am always impressed with how students use email to communicate with their teachers. Luckily, many students were able to utilize their phones to email questions and concerns. I think my favorite part of the internet outage was getting to see students pull out actual board games and trivia games from the shelf when there was a little extra downtime. I enjoyed seeing all the students hanging out and talking with each other for socializing instead of chatting through the internet.
Did you have to run your lessons differently to not include the internet? If so, what did you do instead?
When the internet outage affected our school day, I knew it was going to create a bit more work and creativity. We teachers and students have grown accustomed to using technology to create lessons, push out lessons, complete homework and quizzes, etc. I found myself searching my bookshelves for teaching resources that I haven’t utilized for quite some time. It reminded me how many other great resources we have. I do like to use technology to aid in engagement and monitoring everyone’s understanding, so I had to change my mindset for how I was going to monitor my students’ understanding of the concepts. I personally felt bad that I could not tell students a due date for one of the assignments because I knew it was stuck in their google drive. The due date had to float until the internet returned.
Grace Aeschliman: 8th grade student
If you could choose, would you rather live with or without the internet?
It depends, because the internet does connect people with each other and allows people to see the different views of different people in different situations. However, the internet also causes corruption and bad things such as rumors or lies to spread around and blind people's beliefs or ideas.
Did you have access to data or a hotspot? How did this affect your personal life?
Yes, but because my hotspot was weak, I could only do certain things for a certain amount of time.
On a scale of 1 - 10, how much do you think you rely on the internet in your everyday life?
9 because I use every device everyday for multiple things and it helps me and my family in our daily lives.