Newton high school robotics team cracks the code for making virtual learning fun

“I had to put myself in the shoes of a third-grader who is sitting at a computer at home and wants to be told a story,” Skyler Bohnert, a Newton North High School senior who taught a history class at the camp, said. “They don’t want to be lectured at, they don’t want to take a test, but they want to be involved in a conversation about something they find interesting.”

Kavya Ajaykumar, a sophomore at Newton North High School and a co-founder of Camp AMP, said background noises and technological challenges can make it difficult for students to speak naturally to their classmates and teacher over Zoom and socialize with each other and feel a sense of community.

Ajaykumar said they staffed Camp AMP entirely with high school students because they had firsthand experience of abruptly transitioning to online learning when schools closed in March. Focusing on facilitated class

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Some students could ‘fall through the cracks’ without in-person learning

Bill Ernzen’s 17-year-old daughter Nicola Ernzen has been frustrated with learning online.

Nicola, who was diagnosed with autism at 5 years old, misses the daily routine of waking up, taking her medicine, eating breakfast, and going to school to see her teachers and friends. Adjusting to learning online has been hard, and the Bloomfield Township teen’s family is worried her educational needs won’t be met.

“In the spring, we thought issues with this transition would be temporary and resolved by the fall,” he said. “But it was clear that, when we started the school year, that there were a great many things that hadn’t been figured out.”

Michigan doesn’t have centralized guidelines for teaching high-needs kids online. Each school district must create its own education plan. And many parents and education experts have concerns that some students could be left behind this school year.

“These students need extra attention. You

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