E-learning platforms have been there for a long time and have seen considerable growth but the growth has shown an exponential increase since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The outbreak of COVID-19 has set a new era in the field of online learning. Today, one of the eligibility criteria for someone to become a teacher are technical skills and a basic necessity for a student is a good internet connection at his place. Online education has become the new normal for schools and other educational institutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of loss to the world but this would have been a bigger loss in the education world if it was not for online learning facilities. The pandemic has been here for almost three years now, three precious years of a student’s life would have been wasted if it was not for online education.
Although means of online education have been around for quite some time, the pandemic did take the world by surprise. It is not unlikely for a person to feel uneasy and unable to form connections. Here are some tips that can help you form connections if your classes are being conducted online even in the second leg of the pandemic:
- If the classes can be online, group study can be too
After watching 4 hours of online classes alone in your room, one does not want to study the same subjects in the same room alone. But all you need to realize is that you are not alone, other students who attended that class feel the same way. Contact them and plan a zoom meeting. Study together, take breaks together, talk to each other in those breaks about everything but study.
Connecting with your classmates for sessions other than your classes can be a key step towards making connections for life. The classmates would be more than willing to connect with you. You should not miss out on this opportunity and ensure that you get to know them. By doing so, you can make friends with people from across the world who might be part of your class. A good video call or session with your classmates after your scheduled class can be a breather for you and help form the required connections.
- Before connecting to anyone, connect to yourself
Whenever you are hit with waves of emotions like the sense of isolation and loneliness, the best person to talk to is the one who is with you and will be with you throughout your life, YOU. Write down all your feelings honestly, remember you are a human being and you cannot always feel positive and grateful it is okay to be complaining sometimes, a try to understand your thoughts. You may realize that your colleagues may be feeling the same and maybe giving them a call is a right thing to do.
In unprecedented times like a pandemic or when you’re struggling with online education, you must remain cheerful. The first step to forming connections with your friends is to be yourself and be the most pleasant version of yourself. It is not unlikely for students to feel alone and get depressed. Therefore, there has to be an attempt made to maintain your sanity.
- Participate actively in your class
Don’t just sit there and wait for your name to speak presently. For students that are introverts in nature, this is more difficult than it sounds. However, it has to be understood that answering questions in class helps you build confidence and confidence helps you form connections with your peers in the class. Answering the question asking doubts or just speaking up gives a mental rush and some excitement to look forward to an online class. Connecting with the professor is as important as connecting with other students and the more you speak up the more professor is going to notice you and soon you will strongly connect yourself to the professor.
Connecting with the professors can also make your life a great deal easier. During online classes, getting your doubts solved is another concern that students are likely to face. If you have a good rapport with the professors, you are more likely to avoid this issue. In addition, the students are bound to have many other issues besides just academic doubts. If you have some issues related to administration, then that is somewhere forming connections with professors can help as well.
- E-mail/Chat with the person you initially connect with
The process of connecting is the same online, you have to talk to everyone and then talk and get to know the person with whom you feel positive and good vibes. The only difference here is that everything is virtual which should not be a problem in the current scenario of technology and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a time when you’re not meeting people in person, you cannot lose out on any opportunity that you find to form connections. Therefore, whenever you feel that you have a rapport going on with a classmate, you should try and make some efforts to build upon it. Putting in some effort can help you
- See the positive side
Now you have extra time for your family members or person with whom you live, go and talk some random stuff with them and get to know that side of theirs which you could never know if it were not for online classes and COVID -19 pandemic. A positive outlook can be of significant value when the time is grim. A little mental effort towards staying positive and taking care of yourself can go a long way to allowing you to form valuable connections.
One of the great ways of communicating and connecting with others is through helping others and asking for help. Always remember others want to connect too and there is nothing wrong with starting the conversation. Once you ask for help from someone regarding anything, be it the content of your study or addressing any technical problem you are facing, once you ask and the other person helps, next time that person will choose you for any help and see you got your new best friend!
Keep in mind that it is highly likely for your classmates to find themselves in a similar position as yours. They would also be struggling and in need of help. Asking for help and offering it is one of the best ways to break the shackles and connect with people.
Another great way to communicate is through sharing. Any person you feel you are going to connect with, share anything with them like any pneumonic you created or any study tip or update in your classes or even picture of your study area. Just make sure you radiate positive vibes, at least initially. No one likes to talk about the negative perspective of things and nobody likes people who complain about everything. People find them exhausting so don’t be that person who shares negativity. Spread positive and good vibes only.
Starting a conversation can be a difficult step for many students. However, it should be remembered that once this first step is taken, it becomes easier.
Benefits of online learning
One of the reasons that contribute to students finding it difficult to form connections during online classes is their distaste for these classes. However, knowing the benefits of these online classes can help develop an interest. Ultimately, it gives the required mental push to make efforts and form connections.
Here are some of the benefits of online classes:
- Location is not an issue!
This is specifically beneficial for students who are studying abroad. For instance, the student could be a student sitting in a corner of India and the teacher could be there in North California teaching algebra. All that is required for both parties is a strong internet connection. This helps the students studying in a different country, state, or city to keep up with their classes and course.
- It is way easier
You do not have to get extra early to get ready and drive to the school. You can wake up 10 minutes before class, turn on your laptop and attend the class in your homely clothes while having your coffee. You don’t have to skip your classes because the weather is stormy or your car was under service.
- It takes education to another level
Teachers can use animations, videos, including pictures, graphs, and figures in their notes to explain a concept more effectively. There is no traditional classroom disturbance, the noise from other classrooms, the nuisance created by the backbenchers, one student trying to dominate a discussion, the student trying to sidetrack the class from the discussion. Some random students come to the class late and break the flow of lecture, students have to face none of that chaos.
Education should be a necessity not a luxury. A lot of online learning platforms provide a great education at very cheap rates. They believe that every student in every corner of the world deserves a quality education. Many students who are unable to understand the concepts in offline traditional schools take help from these online learning platforms.
- Improves technical skills
Being able to operate a PC has become a very basic and extremely necessary skill since the pandemic. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Now everyone regardless of their choice has to learn these skills to be able to learn or teach.