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Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

Health Science Classes Take Part in Distance Learning


With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting the demand for registered nurses in Texas to grow by more than 25 percent, 25,300 new job openings in the nursing field are predicted through 2014.  However, despite the projected growth, Principles of Health Science classes are on the brink of being of liquefied at Klein and Klein Forest, prompting current teachers at Klein Oak and Klein Collins to take on a Distance Learning program to teach the students across the district.

A program the district introduced this year, Distance Learning allows teachers to teach at two schools at once using a webcam. Overcoming changes and challenges, Principles of Health Science Education teacher Joan Mooney said she was nervous about how this program would turn out.

“When I heard that I was doing this I felt apprehenous, nervous, and I didn’t want to seem foolish,” Mooney said. “I’m kind of a dinosaur when it comes to technology so that was challenging. I know that this program is beneficial to students because this is the way students will be taught in some of their classes in college.”

Senior Jon Long said he thinks the program can be beneficial to students in the future, but sees the lack of aid for students now.

“I can tell that the class doesn’t like it that much,” Long said. “We thought we were going to think it was cool, but we don’t like it that much because it is so slow. I think it is harder learning this way because everything is at a slower pace and don’t get to cover as much as you would in another class. She has to teach them and then teach us. I think it a huge disadvantage for the other school, they should just have a teacher in their class other and not just a TV.”

Teaching for nine years, Mooney knew that she had to step up stand take on the challenge to fill up the gap brought on by a lack of teachers at both campuses and teach her students, as well as others across the district. Although, traveling with her Emergency Medical Technician and Certified Nursing Assistant students daily, Mooney said it becomes hard to balance all of her duties.

“It’s sometimes very stressful, but I think it’s worth it, because if those campuses would have dissolved their classes, then those students wouldn’t be eligible for higher level classes in the next few years and the program would have taken a really big hit on those two campuses. Getting work from the students I teach is tough. Sometimes I have to travel to Klein’s campus to pick up my students work, it’s kind of hard to do when I have other papers to grade and teach.”

Mooney is not alone in the daily challenges and struggles. Jenalie Raphelt, also a Health Science teacher, said that so far the program has worked well with her students, but that she felt a personal connection with students are lacking.

“They are sometimes shy because of the camera to ask important questions, and I think it hurts their learning,” Raphelt said. “The other challenge I face is that the bell schedule is different at Klein Forest from our bell schedule by 20 minutes, and I have to keep my students focused and busy while I wait for the Klein Forest students to get settled in.”

With Distance Learning set to become the norm in the future, Mooney sees this as an experience to better prepare herself for next year.

“Next year I will have to be more organized,” Mooney said. “Right now the teaching situation it is not ideal, but it’s working. I prefer one teacher in the classroom because students get to learn more and they get the one to one connection that is needed to strive in the Health Science program.”

In the midst of the changes that Mooney and Raphelt has faced this year, both of them are proud they took up the challenge and cannot wait to see how the Distance Learning program will help students achieve success in the Health Science program.

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