With the school year over or winding down, it’s a great time to take stock of how things went with online learning this past year.
- Everyone was thrown into online learning, from kindergarten to college
- Some parts of online learning worked great for some people but not others
- Other parts of online learning caught students and adults unprepared
The past school year took teachers and administrators, students and aides, and threw them all into the crucible of teaching and learning during a pandemic. Without time to really plan or develop what the rest of the school year would look like, kids and adults who were used to a classroom setting found themselves learning from home – kitchen tables, makeshift desks, even tents in the living room.
Early in the crisis teachers asked if students had everything they needed, helping get materials to children, high-speed internet connections where possible, printing worksheets, and more. What some neglected to inquire after was if there was a designated spot that could be used for school daily. Some students had to swap out where they were working from, depending on if their parents were also home from work, if there were other students in the house, and how many people were suddenly all working and learning from home.
No one knows what school will look like in the fall, but there’s a good chance at least part of it will be online. Colleges and kindergartens alike are prepping for the fall semester and looking ahead to what may be. And if classes are in person, there is a great chance masks will have to be worn, and the possibility exists there may be a second spike in cases of COVID-19.
As the saying goes, “forewarned is forearmed,” and going into the summer, it’s a perfect time to assess what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d like to do different. An online learning review is the perfect way to do that.
Location, Location, Location
Start planning now for where you will use as your office or desk. You don’t have to set up now, but it can help you to visualize the space, and see what you will need in the future. An old desk? Terrific. Kitchen table? Excellent, but can you carve out a nook where you can hang printouts or other papers you might need? A dinosaur tent in the living room? Perfect. Make it easy on yourself and keep all the materials you’ll need organized from the beginning, and maybe work some file folders or pocket folders into your routine if it will help.
Mental and Physical Health
A number of people have mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on people’s minds and mental health. Feeling isolated, away from classmates, maybe too close to some family members and missing others… there are many ways it’s been a challenging time for everyone.
Plan to take care of both your physical and mental health. Make time in your routine and follow it. Whether you’re dancing around the living room to blow off some steam, taking a jog or bike ride through the neighborhood to get some fresh air, or just getting some sunlight on your skin on the roof or in the courtyard or backyard, keeping physically fit can help keep yourself mentally fit as well. And as always, reach out to a professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Time Management and Budgeting
Making and keeping a routine can also help not just in the fall, but right now. If your state isn’t wide open, it can be a challenge to get enough fresh air and exercise, laughs and love. Silly as it may sound, schedule time each day to do what it is you want to do. It’s important to get in your meditation or yoga practice, if that’s what will help you stay sane, and best deal with everyone else’s needs.
This is a great time to learn about budgeting, doing laundry, deep cleaning the house, caring for your pets and more, which are life skills but don’t get taught in school. Your online learning review can also cover some important things to learn about life in general. Budgeting, especially, can help make sure you’re not overspending on things you don’t need just because you’re home and bored. That money that would have gone to a new makeup palette might be better spent as savings for retirement. Keeping your money healthy is an important skill as well.
Learning to prepare for whatever comes is a life skill, too, and one that can help you deal with equanimity whatever challenges life throws your way. Your online learning review can help set you up for success, now and in the future.