By Senior Airman Zachary Chapman, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 09, 2020
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Fransisco Jimenez, 17th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor, speaks with class 20-E via Zoom for Government in the Consolidated Learning Center, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 4, 2020. Goodfellow’s ALS program made the switch to be purely online to meet the needs of the Air Force and follow safety guidelines put in place due to COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Chapman)
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Fransisco Jimenez, 17th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor, uses Zoom for Government to talk with class 20-E in the Consolidated Learning Center, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 4, 2020. The students of 20-E were the first class to be taught via Zoom at Goodfellow, to maintain safety guidelines put in place due to COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Chapman)
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- In the interest of safety and social distancing, the Airman Leadership School class 20-E has become a purely online beginning on June 4.
Instructors have adapted to the need for virtual classrooms by switching the 16 students to a virtual platform, allowing ALS to continue.
“We had to ensure that we selected the appropriate virtual online learning tool,” said Tech. Sgt. Fransisco Jimenez, 17th Force Support Squadron ALS instructor.
With the new demand for online meeting or group gathering programs there were many choices for the instructors to pick from.
“One challenge that we faced was creating a plan that best fit Goodfellow’s ALS,” said Technical Sgt. Taylor Vazquez, 17th FSS ALS instructor. “We tried different platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and we finally decided to go with Zoom for Government, because it was the best option for us.”
Once the decision was made on how to proceed alongside the regulation of Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, who developed all guidance for all ALS, Noncommissioned officer Academy, Senior NCO Academy, and chief master sergeant Leader Courses, the planning and adapting began.
“We were so used to teaching classes in person we knew switching to online was going to be a struggle,” said Vazquez. “We have worked together, we sat down and taught each other how to use Zoom, and now we have become a lot more comfortable with it. Now we are ready to press forward with this technology, because it is great to have.”
The ALS class will learn the same curriculum that previous classes have and still be able to take in advice and guidance from guest speakers, similarly to the regular classes. Besides the obvious difference of being online, the class of 20-E will also celebrate their graduation ceremony through Zoom.
While challenges may arise, with having to adapt to these new policies, the teaching and development of the future staff sergeants will continue without fail.