Learning During COVID-19 Lockdown

Here are 5 important lessons studying during COVID-19 Lockdown. The effects on learning are still unfolding. I am a digital immigrant. This term was coined by Mark Prensky in 2001. Please check it up.

The word computer was never uttered in my early days of schooling. So naturally, I socialize differently from many of my current classmates.

I am sure that most of them don’t mind hanging out and all, but I am also sure, digital hangouts come just as easy for them.

So, when COVID-19 struck, I was disappointed with the thought of taking classes online. It’s not like I haven’t done it before but, I prefer one-on-one physical interactions, with putting hands up (yeah, I’m old school like that) and all.

Despite this, I held my head up and followed a piece of friendly advice – that sometimes works/or not at all – back home. ‘Accept and move on.’

I have to say, other than the feeling of sometimes being ‘trapped,’ at home, I don’t mind online learning. It’s different of course;

  • I must work harder to stay focused – that’s not good.
  • No background noise or disruptions – that’s great!
  • Not really meeting the teacher in person – not cool.
  • No commute – that’s just awesome. Two hours of my day saved for other things.

Anyway, we are at war (kind off), so we do what we must do. We are lucky that technology is here to give us some semblance to normalcy. Students like Isaac Newton from other pandemic periods didn’t have the same luxury.

To make this time meaningful and positive for me, I have learned a few things:

1. Early Preparations

Despite the lack of commute, which is excellent, prepare at least 30 minutes before class starts. Get dressed. Yes, you are taking the call from your bedroom, but still… Besides, physical planning helps set your psychological preparations.

Check your apparatus; power, internet connection, sound, and video quality.

2. Disable disruption

Let people around you know that you are in class and that they can’t interrupt you. This includes turning off notifications from other platforms like your emails and the rest.

Imagine you dressed up, and someone else walks in half (or not) dressed. It will have the same effect as you not being covered.

3. Share appropriately

Some video conferencing platforms automatically turn on your video and audio when you launch them. If you don’t remember to turn them off, you might be unknowingly sharing information.

So, mute your mic. Also, if sharing your screen, check that other panes are closed like emails -you don’t want sensitive information leaking as people could be recording the sessions.

Remember, you can always communicate directly with the facilitator unless the information you are sharing or requesting is relevant to all. This is similar to the rule;

‘DON’T REPLY ALL, UNLESS “ALL” NEED THIS INFORMATION.’

4. Be Courteous

Just because the class has moved online, it doesn’t mean that anything has changed. Say hello when you start. Say please when you ask. And thank you, when you are granted. Don’t record people without their permission. Or use course/curse words shielded by your screen.

And please, don’t speak out of turn. It’s just as rude online as it is offline.

5. Breath

And here, I talk to my fellow digital immigrants and others with our complex. It may not be what we signed up for, but it sure could have been worse. So, what if we don’t have all the trappings of a traditional class.

We still get to learn. But, not only the contents of the course but also using new web conferencing tools. This can’t be bad for our resumes.

Next time you show up for your job interview and are looking for examples to show your ability to work independently, and with minimal supervision, remember these times.

Please share other valuable lessons you are gaining with taking classes online.

This article was written by Dolphine Emali a Kenyan student at TBS Toulouse pursuing her MSc in Communication, Marketing, and Management.

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