As a boarding school student living in the middle-of-nowhere, an online course seems like heaven… A door to the rest of the world! I live among 209 girls from 19 countries and 18 states. Our 145-acre campus can feel rather small, especially in the winter season when we must all huddle together by furnaces to keep warm. For those who have never attended boarding school, it is a shocking and challenging experience. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my school was now offering even more opportunities through an online school, and I decided to further challenge myself with an online AP U.S. Government course.
I was apprehensive at first on how I would meet the challenge of completing all of my assignments with the addition of another AP course, yet I have found our online course to be a great fit for my learning style. In AP Gov with Mr. G., I have learned through tools such as, Google Presentations, VIMEO, Haiku, Voicethread and WordPress -all tools that I had never heard of before. Not only has this online course taught me a lesson on time management and the importance of meeting deadlines, but also how to learn by means of resources available at my disposal that I had never previously used.
AP Gov requires collaboration with partners for various projects, including presentations with more than one online tool. Therefore, this requires patience with each other and oneself. Through the simple task of converting a Google presentation to Powerpoint and uploading to Voicethread, I have learned to have patience with myself when learning new tricks of the trade. At first, I was nervous about all the ‘steps’ it took to complete one assignment. I admit, I was even nervous that I might disappoint my partner. Luckily, the girls in our class have all been so welcoming, friendly and helpful whenever I have needed assistance.
My interest really peaked during our last Unit regarding Civil Rights, especially regarding education and disabilities. Having attended a large inner-city public high school for my freshman year, I became aware of the struggles of students with disabilities. Our high school adapted their architectural plan in order accommodate the needs of those who required wheel-chairs. In addition to the building accommodations, my high school also hired Personal Aids for those with more serious learning disabilities. These Personal Aids were adult guides who helped the student move from class to class and stay organized. These accommodations were all made possible in my public high school through government funding. I was so proud that these individuals were taken care of by our school system. Therefore, my interest in education stems from my first-hand knowledge of what a school system can do to appropriately accommodate those individuals who need further assistance to have an easier daily routine. This is an example of how the University of Virginia accommodates their students with disabilities. They have a written handbook on the matter: http://www.virginia.edu/vpsa/stdnt-disabilities-accom-hndbk07-08.pdf
As an AP Government student, I find this course has made me a citizen who is more aware, a citizen who puts aside my daily grind in order to learn about larger issues and events that occur in our nation. I have noticed that since the beginning of this course, I have been paying more attention to the events that affect our nation. I am becoming more aware of American politics. It has been a great experience to offer my personal insights into the issues of American government that interest me the most.
My classmates in AP Government have also helped me become a citizen who is more well-rounded. As we share our personal interests and our own opinions on the topics discussed on Haiku, I am learning about each person as an individual, and I am benefiting from their viewpoints on certain topics. Through this course, I have become more open-minded in considering views other than my own. All in all, AP GOV ROCKS!