Lesson: How to Navigate the Classroom
How to Navigate the Classroom
While our online classroom is comprehensive, there is a huge amount of information that you will need to understand if you are to expand your college and scholarship options. Many of your college applications will be submitted by January 1 and there will be no do overs. With over 1.3 million students applying to less than 3,000 4-year colleges and universities, and 80 percent of those students also applying for financial aid, you want to submit the best possible and highest qualify applications. We strongly suggest that you supplement what you are learning in the classroom by reading the books, “A High School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams“ (Wynn 2009) and “Show Me the Money: A Comprehensive Guide to Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Making the Right College Choice“ (Wynn 2015). You should be able to borrow copies from your high school library or you can order a copies through our website.
Unlike our classrooms for grades 6 – 11, you are not restricted from navigating the classroom in whatever manner that works best for you. However, be warned, the activities build on each other. The classroom is designed to assist you in developing a comprehensive plan for identifying the right colleges; being offered admission to the right colleges; identifying the right scholarships; and being offered the right scholarships. However, your résumé, application, recommendation letters, and essay must come together to reflect a ‘High Quality’ body of work if you are to become the most competitive candidate possible. Skipping activities and jumping around will greatly reduce the possibilities of developing a ‘strategic’ college application package.
If you have participated in our program in the past, we have a totally new eLearning environment so we will cover some of the important points to guarantee that you have an enjoyable, thoughtful, and enriching experience in our online classroom. If this is your first time navigating an online learning environment, we are confident that you will quickly and easily learn how to navigate our online classroom. While you may login and navigate our online classroom with a cell phone, we strongly discourage doing so. The reading, writing, and research should be done on a laptop or desktop computer.
To login to the classroom, you will need a username and password. Most user names are in the following format (JohnSmith). Once a username has been issued, it cannot be changed. When you are first enrolled into the classroom, you will receive a computer generated password. However, you may change your password to something that is easy to remember. You may request a password reset at any time. Instructions for resetting your password will be sent to the email address that you used to enroll in the class. Like your password, you may change your email address at any time. You login to the classroom on our website: www.accessandequity.org by selecting the ‘Login’ menu and entering your username and password. After logging in, the ‘Login’ menu will change to ‘Account.’ The ‘Blog’ menu will provide a dropdown menu for the ‘Mychal Wynn Blog.’ The Mychal Wynn Blog is where we post newsletters and other important information that is only accessible to students enrolled in our programs.
Selecting Your Class
After logging in, you may select ‘Course Outline’ from the side menu or from the ‘Account’ dropdown menu. Selecting ‘Course Outline’ will show the class in which you are enrolled.
After clicking onto your classroom, you will see the classroom screen, which displays the following information:
- Your Progress (the percentage of the course that has been completed)
- Your Overall Grade (based on your quiz scores)
- Modules that are currently available to you
- Completed Units (indicated with a green check)
- Grades from each quiz that you have submitted
There are no quizzes in the 12th grade classroom and all modules are accessible so that you may choose where to focus your efforts.
The entire classroom is built around Modules and Units. Each module contains one or more units on a particular topic or which pertain to important actions to be taken by high school seniors.
Units are the lessons in each module, which are delivered in a variety of formats. Lessons may involve research, viewing videos, or completing tables to record information centered largely around college or scholarship research.
Lessons may also provide examples of well-written essays, résumés, or other examples of how students have been successful in gaining admission into top colleges or qualifying for top scholarships.
All Modules contain an Overview. Each Overview is broken into 3 parts:
- An overview of the lesson
- The objective of the lesson
- Guiding questions about the lesson
Since the information provided in the overview is important to successfully engaging in the lesson, in our 6 – 11 grade classrooms, most overviews are accompanied by a quiz, whose purpose is to ensure that students read the overview! However, as a high school senior, it is assumed that you will “Own the Process” and take care to absorb all of the information that is being provided.
Many units have videos. Most videos are accessed via our Google Drive and should not present a problem. However, you may experience problems viewing supplemental videos, typically accessed via YouTube, depending on the WiFi Network being used to access the Internet. Schools have restrictions for viewing videos on YouTube.
Lessons typically require you to do something, such as view a video, read an article, engage in a discussion, or engage in research.
Throughout our program, you will have many opportunities to provide narrative responses. These narratives will typically reflect your point of view in response to specific questions. Narrative writing is a critically important skill for you to develop as you will eventually be required to write college admission and scholarship essays. Narrative writing is more than the recounting of facts, but involves telling a story from your point of view.
Narratives require you to write something and typically are linked to a secure Google Document. At this time, we would like for you to open another tab in your browser and log into your Google Account. If you do not have a Google account, click here to establish one or to log into an existing Google account.
Each time that you log into our classroom, you should also log into your Google Account so that you may access the narrative document that you will create and maintain throughout your enrollment in our program. Throughout your enrollment in our program, you will maintain a single narrative document, to which you will refer each time that you are directed to write a narrative. Pages have been set up within the document for you to write your narrative response and will be clearly referenced in each unit that requires a narrative response.Since only one narrative document will be used for all of the narratives that you write throughout your involvement in our program, you (and your parents) will be able to review all of your work. It is common for high school seniors to refer to their narratives in formulating their thoughts for responding to college and scholarship application writing prompts. Hopefully, you will see growth in your writing as you explore each component of your college bound plan. Your Google Document is private and is only accessible by people to whom you grant privileges (e.g., course instructor, mentor, parents, etc.). Whenever composing a narrative response, do not delete the question or prompt, so that your parents, the classroom instructor, or your cohort facilitator will clearly understand the context of your narrative response.
Conversations and Collaboration
Our program is designed with conversation and collaboration in mind. College planning is a labor intensive process. Conversations with, and between, high school seniors is important to sharing information and identifying potential college and scholarship opportunities. Discussion questions are incorporated into various units to guide conversations with other students, a mentor, your parents, or your cohort facilitator if you are participating in a school or community-based cohort.
Proper preparation is one of the keys to success in our program.
- You should always have a notebook and pen to take notes.
- You should know how to access your Google Account, including email and Google Docs.
- You should have your username and password available for easy reference (typically in your cell phone).
- You should have headphones or earbuds to listen to videos.
- Questions regarding course content should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Technical support should be directed to email@example.com.
You Must ‘Own the Process’
Our program and the accompanying modules, units, lessons, and quizzes provide opportunities to learn. How you apply yourself and engage in your small group conversations will determine how much and how deeply you learn. How much you learn will be a function of how deeply you engage in the lessons and the activities. In essence, you must ‘Own the Process.’