Bringing the ocean to online learning

June 12, 2020


Patrick M. Villano School

Oceans Rock us usually an interactive, hands-on presentation where students can touch sea fossils and shells. The presenter showed sea shells, starfish and shark teeth and created colorful slides, instead.

Shark teeth, sea stars, and jelly fish were among some topics discussed at a recent Oceans Rock assembly. Anjali Mathew, a fifth-grade student at Patrick M. Villano School, enjoyed the assembly that wasn’t in-person, but over her laptop screen.

“I liked it. It was very cool doing it over Zoom,” Mathew said. “Seeing different animals and learning new facts … seeing the tiniest deadliest animal was my favorite part.”

The Emerson Elementary PTA sponsored the online learning experience. Oceans Rock is normally a live, hands-on program that travels to schools in the area. However, schools have been closed since March 13 due to concerns with the coronavirus. Ocean fossils and shells couldn’t be touched, bu students were able to see and learn many interesting ocean facts while on Zoom. That’s a video platform made very popular with distance learning.

Daniella Beahm, a fourth-grader, enjoyed it because she was able to interact online with the presenter and her peers. Students were able to post questions and answers in the chat feature of Zoom.

“I loved the assembly because I like learning about ocean animals,” Beahm said.

There were two assemblies: one on June 9 for students in grades 3 and 4 and another assembly on June 10 for students in grades 5 and 6. Some students thought the online assembly was a good break from the usual distance learning.

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