Classes not normally available taught in “FaceTime” format


PHOTO Emily Starr

Looking inside of the GenNET room, this is where students can take the classes American Sign Language and AP Calculus.

Anna Weigle, Writer

Fenton High has broadened its class selection this year by making further use of the GenNET classroom. The classroom brings a FaceTime-like setting between the students and teachers at Fenton, along with students at other schools. 

In prior years, this classroom was limited to American Sign Language (ASL) classes. This year, Fenton High teacher, Renae Muzer, has taken on an AP Calculus class and is teaching it in the GenNET room to Fenton students, as well as students from other schools. The Fenton students are taught by Muzer in the physical classroom, but students at other schools, like Mt. Morris, see her through a screen. 

“It’s different because you can’t physically be there, so it’s challenging in that respect, but I can zoom in on them with the camera so it almost feels like we are in the same room,” Muzer said. “You don’t get the personal conversations I have with my students [in Fenton]; it’s more business.”

Having a class in the GenNET room since her sophomore year, senior Lillie Kromer knows the room very well because of all the time she has spent in it. She takes ASL in the GenNet room at Fenton, but her teacher is at Bentley High School. 

“It’s a pretty bland room, with an instructor’s desk in the front and several tables facing it. The most interesting part of the room is definitely the TVs and control panel,” Kromer said. “The control panel on the front desk moves the cameras, controls what the TV screen shows and changes the volume of the mics and speakers.” 

As a first year ASL student, sophomore Emily Starr believes that the room is beneficial in more ways than just the setup of the classroom. 

“Even though there isn’t a teacher physically present, it’s a very student driven class,” Starr said. “You are given more responsibility and independence which means you have to be more on top of assignments and focused on your learning.” 

The GenNET room currently only offers ASL and AP Calculus courses at the high school.