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Amtrak Learning Cars

Offering students a variety of work environments to mimic in-class learning


Amtrak Learning Cars provide students a way to collaborate and chat with peers in small groups, ask their teacher a question, and even work by themselves, all within a remote space – similar to how they would operate in a classroom in person. Offering choice and opportunities for peer engagement, teacher support, or independent work enables students to manufacture a virtual environment that works for them and meets their learning needs. Much like Amtrak Trains, students can pick from multiple types of “cars,” including:

  • Conversation Room: Students can work together in a small breakout group (created through video conferencing systems). These students can be fully remote or a heterogeneous group of in-person students with some remote students. The students can collaborate on a project, chat about their work, or ask each other questions. Teachers can bounce in and out of these rooms, but the conversation stays between the students.
  • Quiet Zone: Students can work quietly by themselves. To accomplish this, teachers can either send students to their own virtual rooms, a waiting room, or a separate section of the classroom in person. In all instances, students will still be connected to the teacher (through a virtual chat or in-person opportunity) but working independently.
  • Teacher Help: Students can work in a small group or one-on-one with their teacher. Students can also pop into this group (which is usually the original video conference room) if they need some quick help before rejoining the Quiet Zone or Conversation Room. When in person, this would take the form of a small, teacher-led group.