AP German Takes a Collaborative Learning Approach

Antioch and Lakes Community High Schools are joining forces in order to excel in this foreign language.


Madisen Krapf

The AP German class consists of Antioch students in person and Lakes students over video chat. This photo shows the two screens being shown to both schools: one with the learning material and another with a live broadcast of the other school’s classroom. This way, the students are taking in the same information while still being able to see who they are learning with.

Starting this school year, Antioch and Lakes Community High Schools joined forces to provide their students with an AP German curriculum. This year, the class is being hosted at Antioch Community High School, taught by German department chair Chad Rusk, and offered via video conference to the Lakes students.

Lakes’ classroom is broadcasted to Antioch as Rusk teaches both schools at the same time. Essentially, the schools video chat with each other, making it easy to view and communicate.

Junior Lucas Bentley has been learning German his whole life, due to his mother being 100 percent German.

“I think that allowing the students to collaborate helps create new relationships between Lakes and Antioch,” Bentley said. “It also helps the students step out of their comfort zones and try to communicate with people that they don’t regularly see on a daily basis.”

The classes use many tools in order to create an effective learning environment, due to the fact that the Lakes and Antioch students can’t be face to face. 

Senior Lily Highley has been taking German all four years of her high school career; this change makes a big difference in her normal way of learning the language. 

“We use Webex Teams to be able to talk to each other one-on-one in a video chat form,” Highley said. “I think it’s cool and beneficial that Antioch and Lakes kids can learn and adapt from each other’s learning environments.”

The students make good use of their class time together, whether they are using Webex Teams, Quizlet Live, Peardeck, Google Classroom or even reading an article in German on paper.

Senior Kara Brooks finds the different style to be a once in a lifetime experience.

“I think that the way we are running class this year is more beneficial than just learning in a regular class,” said Brooks. “That way, we are getting better at using certain tools and communicating with different people and not many get to encounter this experience.”

Thanks to the immense technological advances this past decade and even just this year, ACHS and LCHS can now utilize them and each other in order to make their students successful.