I teach part time at a college where I take high school students outdoors for a class titled Ecosystem Skills. If they pass, the students gain two credits: high school and a college credit. The course teaches them how to identify trees, fish, frogs, toads, turtles and birds, and why each species is important. But now that nature itself has decided to give us yet another reminder of who’s in charge, things have changed. Classes have been cancelled and when they return, the course will have to be taught alternatively and in isolation.

photoKevin Callan

Online courses aren’t my thing. I have nothing against them, they just don’t seem to work with my students. The class is made up of teenagers who don’t do well in a regular class format. The old term for them was “students at risk.” I generally don’t think of them at risk; just different. And an online course could definitely be challenging.

However, I believe in the ideology of “no problems, just solutions.” So, I’ve been experimenting with ways on getting the material out to them. Here’s my first attempt. It’s a couple of YouTube recordings of me going over various spring bird calls and frog calls—with a quiz attached at the end of each.

Have a look and give the quizzes a try. It will at least take the boredom off binge-watching Netflix for a while. Heck, I’m on the second season of Derry Girls already. Yikes!


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