At the beginning of this pandemic I was just finishing my sophomore year in high school, and I was about to start my junior year and even get a job, but that's when everything changed. Getting a job was no longer much of an option and online school wasn't too difficult considering everything we were doing was all asynchronous and basically review assignments, yet the future of school and this pandemic was still unknown.
Towards the end of April and into May, myself as well as two of the other interns were taking part in a collaboration with Chalkcast and STEM through a business program at school and those were the early beginnings to something much greater. When the month collaboration came to an end, our advisor contacted the company and asked if they were interested in getting more student input in what would be the new way of holding online classes in today's society. From that day on, myself as well as Monica and Jenny were interns for Chalkcast and have gained so much perspective as well as given perspective ourselves.
This internship was nothing like what we would have ever expected from an intern position, especially for students our age. We were doing so much more than I would have ever expected and have been able to help create this program that will change the way of online learning. At Chalkcast, the team, with help of us students and teachers, are trying to create an online learning platform that satisfies the needs of both the teachers and students, while trying to mimic the in-person classroom environment. The company is creating a similar platform to what google meet and zoom have created, although we are creating a platform that will be used specifically for education. As interns we have given our personal experience and perspective on what aspects of online learning are beneficial and others that have just created stress for us. When starting the internship, we were introduced to the program Chalkcast and were given background on what was already started, and what still needed work. Then that's when the true work started, along with just our input, we also conducted user interviews with different teachers from our school and around the country to see the impact that online learning has had on education.
- Violet Ramos, Class of 2022, Gadsden High School