New technology increases student voice


Liv Scharfe

Seniors Marie Wickard and Lexi Scrofne flaunt the OLHS Dolphin sign for an Instagram Boomerang for senior Liv Scharfe’s Instagram story. Photo on Sept. 20

As classes becomes more technology- oriented, the school reaches out to students through social media and Chromebooks, so that voices can be heard.

During October, decisions had to be made in regards to the theme of hallway decorations, spirit week, and homecoming. In years past, students have complained that certain themes the SCA chose for spirit week did not result in a great amount of participation.

“Last year the spirit days did not have a lot of participation,” said junior Jared Chung. “But now that SCA gives the students a say in the spirit days, I’ve noticed a lot more participation because we pick the days.”

SCA members posted polls on their Instagram stories which told followers to vote for the most appealing spirit days. By doing this, SCA was able to choose the spirit days that students found most appealing and increase participation.

“We were hoping to reach students by using Instagram,” said AP Psychology teacher and SCA adviser Carlin Conaway. “We wanted to get information from the students by using more convenient ways to access the polls.”

Some teachers use Google Forms to receive direct feedback from their students. That way, they can adjust class to favor student opinion. Not all students will tell a teacher what is wrong with their class face to face, but if an online anonymous poll is posted, teachers might get more honest feedback.

“At the end of the semester, I will have students tell me two things that they think I should keep about the class and two things that I should change,” said AP U.S. Government and AP Virginia U.S. history teacher Darcy Pohl. “After AP testing, I always ask for things I should do better.”

Other organizations at school take advantage of one-to-one. National Honors Society needs member feedback for whatever meeting date works the best.

“We use Schoology to have discussions about ideas,” said National Honors Society President Keano Rich. “I could send out a message on Remind when our meeting was cancelled, and everyone saw it immediately.”