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Teacher uses video lessons to connect with students, parents

Teacher uses video lessons to connect with students, parents Teacher uses video lessons to connect with students, parents

With schools closed until the end of the year and all education taking place online, teachers are coming up with innovative ways to keep a connection with their students. Rib Lake teacher Steve Blomberg has begun recording short science videos on subjects ranging from Canadian geese to the Redwood forests of California, which are posted to the school’s Facebook page.

“COVID-19 kind of threw all of us educators into a place we’d never been, and as far as the staff goes, we were trying to figure out what our place was, what we could do,” Blomberg explained. “I think it was on the 16th of March, I looked at my pine trees and thought, ‘Oh, I could do a little lesson on pine trees.’” He filmed the informational video and sent it to Amy Miicke, the administrator of the school’s Facebook page, who saw it as a great opportunity and immediately asked for more. Since then, he has recorded 35 more videos; 36 in all.

“They’re certainly not professional,” he said with a laugh. “It’s just a teacher a few years away from retirement talking about things that, particularly in northern Wisconsin, kids should know. So I’m going to have lessons on sandhill cranes and pileated woodpeckers, rhubarb coming up in the garden, types of trees, things like that.”

The short-skit lessons have gained the attention of more than just students, as many parents are tuning into the educational videos as well: “I think there’s actually more adults commenting than kids, which is kind of cool.”

Blomberg said that he chooses subjects with which he is familiar with, but makes sure to do additional research on the topic before making his video.

“Bits and pieces are things I grew up knowing... I spend maybe half an hour on the internet getting information and numbers, like an animal’s lifespan or a bird’s wingspan, along with some other little interesting facts.”

With the now limited education ability, the entire Rib Lake School District staff are brainstorming and working towards making the best out of a bad situation.

“It’s just something that I was able to do for our school,” said Blomberg. “I think everybody’s kind of found their niche of what they can do, and this just happened to be something that I can do.”