Pierce Pioneer

Struggles of Taking Virtual Classes – Part 3

Especially for international students who are taking online classes from their home countries, a lot of struggles might have been shown up in spring quarter. One of the students that I interview, she was going to college in NYC. However, since her college dorm was closed due to Coronavirus, there were no option except going back to Japan. She shares how difficult to take virtual classes from her home country.

Videographer: Kotone Ochiai

Editor: Kotone Ochiai

Future Image: Ciara William


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Struggles of Taking Virtual Classes – Part 2

For some students who have taken online classes before, it might be easier to get used to this quarter. which is taking online or virtual classes. However, taking virtual classes has many challenges. The virtual class means that students need to attend class at a specific time. Today, I am going to interviews students about how they feel about taking virtual classes for the first time.

Videographer: Kotone Ochiai
Editor: Kotone Ochiai
Future Image: Darrell Kuntz


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Struggles of Taking Virtual Classroom

Because Coronavirus has spread out in the United States, many school decided moving to online classes. It has been 5 weeks since Pierce College started virtual class for entire spring quarter. Today, pioneer staff interviews students about how they feel about taking virtual classes for the first time. We interviews students from Pierce College, University of Washington, Hunter College in NYC. We will have three videos about thoughts of virtual classroom.

Videographer: Joy Kim

Editor: Kotone Ochiai

Future Image: Ciara William


Video by Coverr-Free-Footage from Pixabay 

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Online Courses Sweeping Away Campus Classes

It’s the middle of the quarter, and already time to start thinking about what classes to take next. With so many options available between going on campus, taking hybrid courses, or a class completely online, this is a situation all students have faced at some point. However, weighing the different pros and cons can help students find the perfect class to succeed in. 

With the world moving more towards technology, education has to move along with it. This provides a new challenge with finding a balance between face-to-face and the online world within the school system.

At Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s campus, the number of students taking online classes has been growing each year. According to Pierce’s Tableau dashboard, the number of students enrolled in online courses has increased by 20 percent over a 10 year period.

As the popularity of online classes increases, on-campus course enrollment is slowly decreasing. In the past 10 years, the number of students enrolled in face-to-face classes has gone down 10 percent. This fluctuation has caught the attention of some staff members at Pierce.

Fred Metzger, a communications and film professor at Pierce College, notices that whenever an online class is offered, it fills up quickly. “It becomes a safe move, and strong evidence that this is where the need is,” he said. “People that are in charge of those decisions can easily think we need more online classes.” 

Each quarter, choosing between online and in-class courses are a choice that faculty have to make as well. Joyce Pace, a history professor at Pierce College said that teaching an online class can be more of a workload on staff members. This is a result of trying to recreate classroom experiences in an online environment, which can be hard to keep up with, she added.

Selecting the right class has much to do with the individual’s learning style, however. Marilyn Gay, a Pierce College student, mentioned how on-campus classes are important to her because of the teacher and peer interactions. “I like the interaction with the instructor and the other peers, and you don’t get that with online classes.”

E-learning can provide an exceptional opportunity for many people. As Pace, said, “I knew a military student who ended up finishing some online course work while he was deployed in the middle east, and another who was going to school online while on a ship in the Persian Gulf.” 

We don’t leave people left behind, we bring them on board and maybe have transitional classes, or understand some things you just don’t want to teach online”

— Fred Metzger

Cases like these show the benefit of online courses. However, could there be too much of a push toward online in this day and age? Metzger says that his public speaking class almost didn’t happen this quarter. 

Metzger mentioned how there is no substitute for the energy, nerves, and emotion that are in the room during a public speaking course. “We don’t leave people left behind, we bring them on board and maybe have transitional classes, or understand some things you just don’t want to teach online.” 

Although there are many positives of online classes’ availability in this digital age, it’s also important to keep enough campus classes available to students.

Naudyia Pichette, a student in her fifth quarter at Pierce College mentioned, “Not everybody has access to a computer and that’s basically your lifeline with an online class. Also, the books tend to be pretty expensive.” 

Pichette said she likes to take electives online, instead of core classes, such as accounting. She adds that usually more help is available from a teacher and fellow students in an on-campus math or science course, that isn’t as needed in an online class such as art appreciation. 

Upon entering college, it can seem overwhelming with all of the different options of what classes to take, but once everybody finds the type of class that works best for them, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Metzger had a valuable statement that those on campus should keep in mind when discussing the removal or addition of both forms of courses, “It’s not which is better? It’s why can’t we have both? Why can’t we nurture both? Why can’t we be diverse and be open to all with the diverse community?”

10 unique, fun Christmas gift ideas at reasonable prices

The Holiday season is here and budgets are tight. Even with Black Friday deals, finding the right gift can be an overwhelming challenge. There is always the risk that a gift given that was affordable ends up as a white elephant gift at the next Christmas party.

Want a way to relax and chill with family? Here are 10 fun and unique Christmas ideas available online that will fit any budget gifts ideas:

  1. AvoSeedo Avocado Tree Starter Kit, $12.99, avoseedo.com

Who doesn’t like avocados? Avocados are must when active in social media. This is an Instagram-worthy product for that soon-to-be or occasional vegetarian/vegan who would love to brag about how perfect their lives are. Why not meet their need to be appreciated and their love for nature by giving them a tree starter kit? Other past gifts will be forgotten, but when looking back, they will remember, “Oh yeah! Grandma got this for me! She is so hip!”

  1.  Pick Punch “Standard 351,” $24.95, pickpunch.com

This is a great gift for musicians in the family. With this pick punch, loved ones can make their own, customized picks! This also promotes recycling old credit cards and student IDs and turns them into a new collection of picks.

  1. 3. “What’s Your Poo Telling You?” $9, com    

To show loved one a sense of humor and how much you care, give them this illustrated book. Not only will it provide them something to read during visits to the bathroom, but it will guide them to examine what they leave behind and lead them to make healthier life choices. They will become experts in describing their symptoms based on the color, looks, shapes and smells of their bowel movements.

  1. Brain Specimen Coasters, $19.99, thinkgeek.com/product/huir

Anyone going into or already working in the medical field in the family? This will be a great gift for those who devote themselves to service to those whom are in need and taking care of the sick. According to the website, 10 glass coasters are stacked to form a brain. Loved ones no longer needs to make expensive trips to ‘Bodies: The Exhibition,’ but could own collection of these coasters, including one for the heart. It is useful in everyday lives instead of heavy, expensive science illustration books. Show them appreciation for their efforts to memorize all those terminologies to save lives with this gift.

  1. “Minecraft” foam pickaxe, $19.99, thinkgeek.com/product/e847

This gift will be great for all generations who love “Minecraft.” It is a life-size foam pickaxe, just like in the game. Kids can go outside with this safe “heavy-duty EVA foam” axe and have an adventure, without violence. A word of caution – it will melt under open flame. And for the alternative, the sword is available too.

  1. Boys’ “Minions” slippers, $12.99, target.com

It might say boys but “Minions” shouldn’t be gendered. It is good for all who loves the “Minions.” Of note, the size charts are numbered with standard boys’ shoe sizes so find the right fit for younger ones.

  1. Light-up LED fidget spinner, $10, urbanoutfitters.com

This is no ordinary fidget spinner — it lights up! If kids have a hard time sleeping during the night, then give them one of these and let them play until they fall asleep. This will be a great toy to distract children so their parents can continue shopping in peace, getting ready for supper and so on.

  1. “Wonder Woman” mug, $10, urbanoutfitters.com

Everyone talked about when the movie, “Wonder Woman” came out earlier this year. Women who watched the movie sang its praises, saying how empowering it was. Celebrate that empowerment. Encourage them with this mug daily as they get ready for school or work, reminding them that they are all wonder women.

  1. Poké Ball serving bowl set, $19.99, thinkgeek.com/product/jgpo  

Gotta catch ‘em all: this large serving bowl accommodates popcorn, chips, and sweets! It could be used during dinner time as salad bowls. Very unique — parents, perhaps with this set could entice their kids to enjoy salad at mealtime.

  1. “Star Wars” lightsaber salt and pepper grinder set, $40, urbanoutfitters.com

This is exclusively for Star Wars fans. Use them during a movie marathon of the first original three — and for those extra special fans, the recent ones. Give this set and watch the joy and smiles.

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