Dixon Learns With Launch

In addition to his seated schedule at Cassville Middle School, advanced eighth grader Dixon Reid took Geometry online with Launch. Access Launch: How did you learn that you could take a Launch class online? Dixon Reid: We were trying to
By Savannah Waszczuk

In addition to his seated schedule at Cassville Middle School, advanced eighth grader Dixon Reid took Geometry online with Launch.

Access Launch: How did you learn that you could take a Launch class online?
Dixon Reid: We were trying to find options for me to be able to take Geometry—either in the high school here or at the middle school here with
videos and stuff—but I didn’t really want to learn that way. Our high school principal knew about Launch. I was the first kid in Cassville to take a Launch class.

Access: Great—we were so pleased to have you! How would you compare your Launch experience with your experience in a seated class?
D.R.: I loved the online class. It gave me more freedom and worked well with my learning style. I felt less pressure and could work at my own pace.

Access: What was it like to work with your online Launch teacher?
D.R.: My first teacher, Sara Edwards, was really helpful. She had her own website with her own videos, and she had a Google Docs document with notes. I would ask my teacher in Cassville—who monitored me—to print out the notes, and then I would use those notes and watch the videos as I did my assignments.

Access: Did you communicate with your Launch teacher often?
D.R.: Yeah—communication with the teacher was really easy. There’s a spot in Canvas for sending messages to your teacher, which was nice.

Access: How much time did you spend working on your Launch class?
D.R.: An hour and a half every day. I usually completed my work during this class time at school, but sometimes I would do stuff at home just to make sure I didn’t get behind.

Access: How was your grade?
D.R.: Good. Really good, actually! I got an A.

Access: That’s great! What about next year—what class are you most excited for as you enter high school?
D.R.: I am really excited to take my agriculture class next year. I know that my dad can help me with it a lot, because he was the superintendent of Roaring River State Park for eight years. He knows a lot about plants and stuff. Also, I know a lot of people in that class, so that will be fun!

Access: Great! Let’s talk about extracurriculars. Are you in any clubs at school?
D.R.: Yeah, well, I was last year—I did student council, knowledge bowl and TSA, which is the Technology Student Association. I think next year I may play soccer, and maybe FFA.

Access: Fun! Okay, now I want you to think big. Have you thought about where you want to go to college one day?
D.R.: Yes. A lot. I want to go to Purdue. I’ve wanted to go there for a long time—since fourth grade. We went to the campus when I was younger, and it was awesome!

Access: What is your dream job?
D.R.: Some sort of engineer. I’m not sure what kind yet.

Access: What about a dream city to live in—do you have any ideas for that?
D.R.: I don’t really have one. I know I want to go to a big city, because in little cities there aren’t as many jobs for engineers.

Access: Ah, that makes sense. Okay, now let’s talk about your life outside of school. What are your hobbies?
D.R.: Soccer and video games.

Access: Where do you play soccer?
D.R.: Well, now at school. I’ll be on the high school soccer team next year. But I’ve played for as long as I can remember, honestly. When I was younger, I played at the YMCA, then I did something called Seven Valleys Soccer here in Cassville. We played in Joplin every weekend.

Access: What video games do you play?
D.R.: I play a lot of Overwatch, and I’ve been starting to play Star Wars a little bit.

Access: What about TV—do you have a favorite television show?
D.R.: Yes. The Office.

Access: Nice—a lot of us on the Launch team like The Office, too! Do you have a favorite character?
D.R.: I’d have to say Jim, but Dwight really makes me laugh. So much.

Access: Do you use social media?
D.R.: Yeah. Mostly just Instagram. I have Snapchat, but I don’t really like it.

Access: What is the most popular social media platform with kids in your school?
D.R.: Instagram.

Access: What’s a fun fact about you, or maybe something interesting that people may not know about you?
D.R.: Well, I guess something kind of different is that and I only have blue shirts. I only wear blue shirts. I have actually been wearing only blue shirts for a long time—a few years, at least.

Access: That’s so funny! Why?
D.R.: I don’t really know. I like blue, I guess?

Access: You’re a funny kid, Dixon! Thanks for learning with us. Do you anticipate taking more classes with Launch?
D.R.: Yes, I do! I am just not sure what those classes may be yet.

Access: Good—we’re happy to know you’ll be back! What about your classmates—do you think other middle school students would be successful learning online with Launch courses?
D.R.: I believe that Launch is a good fit for some  students. You have to have the right mindset—you really have to be both self-motivated and self-driven. Since you have a bit more freedom with a Launch class, it could be easy to think ‘I’ll just get it done tomorrow.’ But that type of thinking can get you behind very quickly.
Then it may be hard to catch back up, unless you work on the weekends or work after school. And I know that some kids, or really most kids, definitely wouldn’t want to do that.