Even with the uncertainty of the 2020-2021 school year, many students still decided to forecast for the well-liked art and design classes offered at Camas High School. Due to the continuation of remote learning, quite a few of these classes have proven to be more difficult than in previous years.
CHS website design, architecture, engineering/CAD, and robotics teacher Kelly Williams said, “It can be very difficult because it’s hard to answer questions often without being there in person, especially when it’s software related.”
CHS graphics design, digital drawing, and digital photography teacher, Douglas Huegli added, “Getting the hardware working properly for the students (is difficult). Everyone has different hardware and support at home, this makes me more of a ‘Tech Help Desk’ than a teacher at times.”
Huegli said that on the school-provided Chromebooks there is no way for the applications he would usually use to work. And about 85% of his students only have Chromebooks available to them, which has added to the difficulty of helping them be as successful as possible.
Many teachers are also missing the connections they create with their students in the art room. It has been difficult to lose that and not be able to help them with their projects.
Art, drawing, and painting teacher Rodney Raunig said, “The hardest part about being remote is that I don’t get to see the student’s work as it progresses, so I lose that channel for feedback and validation.”
As these issues are difficult for teachers, students are also quickly realizing that learning art remotely is more complicated. Whether it is problems with technology, limited materials, not understanding, or not having easy access to help from a teacher, students are struggling with online art classes too.
CHS sophomore Paige Frawley, a digital art student, said, “It’s been much more difficult since we don’t have access to as many materials as we would at school. The system that we’re using for digital art is complicated and sometimes doesn’t work all that well.”
Even though all the teachers have been doing their very best to make the art and design classes online operate smoothly, there have still been some bumps in the road.
CHS Sophomore Mia Parnell likes the way the teachers have been handling this new way of learning. Parnell believes that they have been doing a good job by making the work doable from home. On the other hand, she still thinks the class would be easier and more fun if it was in-person.
Despite all of the challenges, some students and teachers do not mind doing online art and design classes. They think it has brought more flexibility and allows them to work on their projects whenever they want to.
The 3D concepts and construction class at CHS was newly created just for online learning.
Teacher, Jarred Jackman, said, “I for one love the flexibility of remote learning, but I realize it’s not for everyone. I love that I can take my dog for a walk during lunch, then work until 8 pm if I so choose and if I need to.”
CHS Sophomore Taylor Redmond says, “I think doing art at home hasn’t really made it more difficult for me, but that’s probably because I already do art at home normally.”
Redmond added, “Doing art assignments at home makes it so I can work on assignments whenever, like when I have random bursts of creativity, even if it’s in the middle of the night.”
CHS Freshman Lorelei McCarthy said, “Personally I think it is really easy online and I like how Mrs. Keith teaches her class and the amount of time she gives us for projects. Overall, I think it (the class) would be harder in person.”
Although a lot of difficulties have come up with teaching online art and design classes, students and teachers are working together and learning to adjust to this new challenge.
Camasonian journalists Daisy Gooch and Nora Melcher contributed to this article.