Technology

Online learning: Helping students adjust to virtual classes

Over a year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, online learning has become part of the new normal. Image credit: Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
Image credit: Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Over a year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, online learning has become part of the new normal. This doesn’t mean, however, that students and teachers have already been able to fully adjust to this new online learning environment. It’s also important to note that the challenges online classes pose are not just a question of technology, but also psychology — such as feelings of being lonely or disconnected.

“Stay connected with your friends and family. It might be easy to focus on your studies right now, but your social connection to others has never been more important. Take photos, use FaceTime, connect on social media, pick up the phone or even go old school and write a letter,” said Monash Educational and Development Psychologist Dr. Kelly-Ann Allen in the page the university posted last year to share practical advice for students to help them adjust to online classes.

The online struggle is real

Students can also benefit from becoming aware of which learning method works best for them and sticking to a schedule, according to this Rappler article.

“Although it is advisable to stick to a schedule, it is equally as important to stay flexible as well. Don’t beat yourself up when internet connection issues and household chores disrupt your schedule.

“For Dela Rea, staying flexible also means taking necessary breaks and rewarding yourself after finishing a class or a task in your to-do list. This can help fend off burnout which can take a toll on your mental health.”

And while technology will not address all challenges posed by online learning, it does offer solutions to specific issues. For instance, Lenovo Philippines has launched a Smart Learning campaign for its IdeaPad Slim 3i, to showcase its features that can help improve the learning experience for young students.

These features include reminders to help kids improve their posture, attention, and viewing distance. It also includes a Break Reminder to nudge kids to take a break in studying, as well as a smart noise-cancelling feature that minimizes ambient noise during online classes.

Remote learning is here to stay

Make no mistake: remote learning is here to stay, even after the pandemic ends. Just as work from home will be part of the new normal.

At the end of the day, parents will have to help their children and work with teachers to help students adjust to online learning, whether it’s protecting their online privacy, or ensuring academic integrity.

It’s a brave new world, and we all have to help each other live in it.