Alter High School: Embracing technology during mandated closure

Archbishop Alter High School is utilizing the Zoom videoconferencing tool s ability to connect students and instructors to one another remotely. Contributed photo

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Archbishop Alter High School is utilizing the Zoom videoconferencing tool s ability to connect students and instructors to one another remotely. Contributed photo

Who would have guessed that introducing 1:1 technology in the Fall of 2011 would prove to be such a wise decision today?

For the past nine years, Archbishop Alter High School has been a 1:1 school, equipping every student with a laptop/tablet combination device, important learning management software and tools, and the ability to connect to one another remotely.

Alter’s intent was to prepare students for the next step in their academic journeys. Know that many colleges and universities across the country were implementing e-learning for classes and submission of assignments, the school wanted to ensure its students were at the forefront of this movement and ready for success at the next level. Little did it know that the decision implemented then would have such important ramifications today.

In this current time of worldwide health crisis, it remains so important to be connected to one another while complying to the request of social distancing. Alter teachers are holding classes electronically with the Zoom videoconferencing tool in spite of the mandated closure.

Assignments and assessments are being administered and submitted electronically also. In addition, there are individual tutoring sessions occurring that are being hosted by teachers, fellow students and young alumni who are finding themselves in the same predicament as current students while home from college.

The flexibility and determination with which the students, faculty and staff have transitioned to this new way of teaching and learning is inspiring!

Another important aspect to being familiar with and equipped with technology is the human connection it helps provide. While the Alter community is unable to socialize face to face, it is still able to video chat, attend school club meetings, meet as a faculty and staff, pray together and share in everyday lives with one another.

That feeling of connection is essential during this precarious time, and gives hope that the school will emerge from this better than ever – better communicators who are better prepared to face the world on the other side of crisis.

The technology initially put in place nine years ago continues to prove itself to be more and more essential with each passing year.

As Alter continually monitors and adjusts its technology and software programming to the ever-changing needs of students, families, communities and the world at large, it remains committed to excellence in Catholic education – whether that is inside the Archbishop Alter High School building or as Alter Knights in their own homes.

“Our prayers are with our country and our world during this crisis and always, and we remain servant leaders striving to make the world a better place each and every day,” said Amy Miller, Alter’s director of marketing and communication.

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