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What the COVID Lockdown Taught Us About Online Learning

MAY 13, 2020 • 4 min read

As New Zealand moves to Level 2 after 7 long weeks in lockdown, we know students and families up and down the country will be breathing sighs of relief as schools start to reopen. Making the move to online learning without purpose-built platforms and teachers with specialised training in running a virtual classroom is an extremely difficult thing to do.

However, as we reflect on what these weeks in Level 3 and 4 have taught us, we’ve realised that there are a few elements of online learning that we’ll be sad to say goodbye to as schools reopen their gates on Monday.

1. Learning in a familiar environment

While we all know we shouldn’t really be studying on our beds, the ability to learn in a familiar and comfortable setting is super important and can also help to significantly increase productivity! Studies show that every time you’re interrupted, it takes an average of 25 minutes to refocus on your task. In a traditional school environment with constant noise and activity, it can be very difficult for students to maintain full focus on their work. Finding a quiet space at home away from distractions is often much easier!

2. No uniforms!

Who’s been guilty of wearing pyjamas to online school during lockdown? We all know that dressing respectfully even for online classes is super important for helping improve our mental state and concentration. But with winter right around the corner, it can be very difficult for students to dress for the temperature at school, and it’s very hard to learn when you’re covered in goosebumps! Learning from home makes it so much easier to dress comfortably and appropriately, meaning that nothing is distracting you from doing your best in class.

3. Real breaks

Who finds that after a busy day at school, it takes a while to relax and unwind at home? At school, students are often busy rushing between classes and meetings, and don’t get a chance to properly relax and create a positive mental state for learning. At home, it’s easy for students to move around, pat their pet, or go for a walk between classes. These are all simple and effective ways to break up periods of concentration and increase overall productivity. Plus, no more shoving a banana and a muesli bar in the school bag on the way out the door - students can prepare food for breaks in their home environment - much more convenient, and tastier!

4. No commute

New Zealanders spend an average of an hour a day travelling, and we know that for busy high schoolers, this can often be much longer. Imagine if you had an extra hour in your day to study, participate in extracurriculars, play sports, or improve your sleep schedule! Not having to commute between home and school gives students more time to develop their academic, extracurricular, and personal selves. Plus, less time on the roads is great for the petrol bill and the environment!

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