June 9, 2020

Virtual learning Aids Pathways Academy Student

While it has been difficult to transition to online learning for some students used to learning in a hands-on setting, it has also helped some who struggle in a traditional school setting.

Take for example Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Welding and Pathways Academy senior Brenden Frank of Mohonasen.

“I truly believe that I understand English better now for the sole reason that I don’t have the distractions that were all around me in school. I also can get one-on-one time practically whenever I want,” said Frank.

The senior has been working with Integrated English Teacher Rich Bader to assure he graduates this year and achieves of his goal of becoming a welder.

“Brenden loves welding, but hated English. He resisted (learning) it more days than not,” said Bader. “Once the (virtual learning) started, he applied himself to English.’

“He has become very communicative about what he understood and didn’t understand, and it turns out the latter isn’t that much. He’s kept up with all the assignments and has done very good work,” said Bader.

Frank said that it is all about the ability to focus and the help of Bader.

“I think it would be a little more difficult if I didn’t have this distance learning. I can (now) always email Mr. Bader and ask him to help me with something and he sets a time for Google meet and he helps me,” Frank said. “He helps me a lot with whatever I need.”

Frank is one of four students who will graduate from the Pathways Academy in June and one of about 500 Career and Technical School graduates.

He and other students switched to online learning in mid-March with the COVID-19 forced closure of in-person schooling. Students take classes and earn certifications through various online formats such as Google and WebEx.