Lakewood teacher gets creative with virtual classroom by transforming shed in backyard

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WJW) — Teachers are getting ready for the start of the new school year and online instruction, and one local educator decided to be creative with his virtual classroom.

From the outside, it looks like a storage shed in the backyard of the Lorain County home of Lakewood High School Intervention Specialist Cory Streets, but inside he has created his own virtual classroom studio that he calls “Mr. Streets Center for Remote Shed-ucation.”

“I can do all of my live streaming right there. I make a lot of videos for the kids. I like to do video modeling and things like that and editing,” said Mr. Streets. “I’ve got a screen in the background that I can use for presentations, to show information on it; it hooks right up to my MacBook.”

Cory Streets, who was named Lakewood High’s PTA Teacher of the Year in 2020 for his innovative classes for special education students, says the transformation of the shed over his summer vacation was part inspiration and part necessity.

“So in the spring when all of this happened sort of unexpectedly, I just kind of set up my laptop on the desk in the guest room and did what we could. We’re going to have our second kid in October, so the guest room is now becoming a nursery and I needed a place to teach,” he said.

The teacher’s office in a shed also reflects his eclectic interest in everything from reptiles, to space travel, to fishing, to video games. When we asked why he had an Xbox in his shed studio, Mr. Streets told us “it’s for purely educational purposes, and you know I’ve got free time.”

He concedes that one of the benefits of his remote classroom is that after we finally “shed” the coronavirus for good, he will have a ready-made man cave.

But the real motivation for the studio is to spark his students’ interest in online learning.

“I wanted to show kids that ‘yeah, you know, we are not in ideal circumstances, things aren’t going the way that we want them to go, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t explore, that we can’t have fun, that we can’t make the best out of it,’” he said.

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