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IU13 Community Education Blog

Student Spotlight - Gabriel Restrepo

Posted by Rebecca Loewenstein-Harting on Jul 6, 2020 11:52:23 AM

As millions of students across the country are finishing up their school year online, IU13 students are no exception. Learning from home during a pandemic is not an easy task, but many students accepted the challenge. One of those students is Gabriel Restrepo, a High School Equivalency (HSE) student in Lebanon. 

Gabriel started in Deb Smith’s HSE class in January of this year. Just as he was beginning to think about taking his first HiSet test, the IU13 buildings closed and all classes moved online. Undeterred, Gabriel has been a faithful student and has participated in almost 35 hours of online instruction via Zoom since mid-March. He has also completed learning activities on websites and apps such as Readworks, Quizlet, Kahoot, Khan Academy, and the HiSet preparation course offered through New Readers Press.

Transitioning from in-person to online learning was not tricky for Gabriel. Although it’s harder to concentrate outside of the classroom, he says that the platforms are easy to access, and the instruction is just as understandable as in class. He currently does all of his classwork on his cellphone. Naturally curious about technology, Gabriel attributes his technical knowledge to previous experience with a computer, saying, “I messed around with the keyboard and the programs to see what they did.” 


Attending class online has also allowed Gabriel the opportunity to switch roles with the teacher. His instructor, Deb, says that “he is amazing at experimenting with technology… he teaches me something new each class session.” Deb is even keeping a list of “Tech Tips from Gabriel” to help her remember all of the useful information she has learned from him. 


Gabriel plans to continue with virtual classes in July and hopes to begin taking (and passing!) his HiSet tests soon. Although he is not yet sure what he would like to do after that, we are confident that his tenacity and willingness to adapt to the situation will serve him well in whichever path he chooses. 


Topics: Adult Education, Student Spotlight