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Another year of online learning



PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF PEXELS/ august de richelieu, THOMAS PARK teaching students basic skills that they need to be able to do online learning goes a long way.

The holiday break is over and it is now a whole new year. The pandemic is not yet over and new SARS-CoV-2 variants, such as Delta and Omicron, keep popping up. While there is a pandemic, restrictions against public gatherings and face-to-face classes remain. This only means that 2022 is another year of continuous Zoom and Google Meet classes for us students. So, is online learning still the same for us this year or are there new things to learn about it?

Kids have almost mastered the technology for online learning

Unlike the first year of the pandemic, when many of us were still transitioning to online learning, this year we are no longer new to the technology. We, kids, have now almost mastered many of these platforms. Many of us have even learned more advanced technologies that help us do, not only the basics of online learning, but also other things, like digital designing and coding.

Academic benefits

We have learned to adapt to the demands of online learning. We schedule our time properly so that we will be able to do all the academic tasks that are needed. We’ve become more conscious of the need to sift through the many online resources that we use for our papers and assignments. We now know that not all online resources are factual or even true, hence, the need for us to be critical about the online resources that we use. Most of all, we’ve learned to be more confident of ourselves in online engagements with our teachers and classmates, and even with people who would sometimes ask us to do short talks for their own students and other organizations.

Values and good habit development

More than the academic benefits, we also learn to develop our values and dispositions, and help us form good habits.

Many of us have developed the habit of exercise. In particular, as a way to keep me mentally and physically healthy during online classes, I make it a point to exercise every day. This is also our way of feeling the outside world even if we’re not actually exiting the house and to help us feel something aside from the repetitive online classes we face.

We have also learned to respect the efforts that are given by our teachers, peers and classmates in the online process. We have become more patient with them and their small lapses, and have also even learned to help out in troubleshooting certain technical issues related to online platforms and the like.

Learning to care more beyond ourselves

One big thing that has come out during the pandemic is the fact that we have learned to look more beyond ourselves and our own struggles with online learning, and consider the plight of our fellow students who may even have bigger problems with their lives than us.
In particular, I have learned that the way for me to live my life meaningfully during this time of crisis is to care even more. This means we have to keep ourselves abreast of news and acquire information so that we will be able to know ways by which we can help others, especially our fellow students who may be struggling with online learning. Even teaching fellow students basic skills that they need to be able to do online learning goes a long way.

Advocating online learning that is inclusive and just

More than anything, doing our classes online has brought us to a kind of awareness that there is a bigger world out there that needs our vigilance and action. We know from news in our country and worldwide that there are children from marginalized sectors who cannot access online studies properly due to lack of resources, academic support from their family at home, and for various other reasons. So, we need to be aware and be part of campaigns for more equitable online learning processes, so that all kids will be included and get the same quality education that is enjoyed by other peers.

So, the return of Zoom classes, Google Meet and online learning this 2022 may bring the same challenges for us. But we know, too, that this time, it will be different because we now know better. We know about how to make this online learning even better, not only for ourselves, but for the rest of our peers in the country and in the world.