My Virtual Learning Experience During the Pandemic

The Covid-19 global pandemic hit every sector of the economy; the growth index of many countries is affected.

The ones who enjoyed were countries that invested heavily in digital technology. The digital technology industries enjoyed the loot for this was the only platform people would work and communicate.

As a student, my virtual learning experience is a roller coaster. First was the home office. I had to set up a study room where I could concentrate continue with my studies.

The children, on the other hand, had no option but to resort to online learning which also has its own share of challenges.

Some of them include

  • Practical classes were difficult to handle
  • Children were prone to online predators
  • Low concentration span
  • Brain fatigue due to long hours on the computer
  • Distractions from toddlers and other young siblings

This has been my experience in online learning. Since the lecturer had scheduled time for classes, you have to plan with the school timetable.

Our classes ran from 8.00 am to 3 pm with an hour break for lunch. However, I only had two classes in a day which was easy for me to plan and handle some of the house chores or other activities that needed my attention. I started my day as early as 4.00 am.

At this time, I went through any assignments or homework that needed my attention previously.

At times it was tough to consult since not everyone was online at that time. I chose this time because most of the family members were asleep, and I could easily concentrate.

At exactly 6.30, I made breakfast and freshen up to pave the way for the first class, which was usually at 8 am.

The time difference was an issue since one of the lecturers had a lockdown in a different continent that has an 8-hour difference.

I was lucky to have that class that early, my other friends had a rough time for it was wee hours of the night or late in the evening where concentration was an issue.

 

The challenges

 

Technical issues

As long as you have a virtual-only platform, you are bound to experience technical issues. In my case, the computer shut down for no apparent reason in the middle of a live video conferencing session.

In another case, the internet connectivity was unstable to the point I had to postpone my thesis presentation to a later date when the lecturers were not within reach.

I had to wait for a month to schedule yet another presentation day. What a waste of time!

Time management and home distractions
Having two toddlers at home wasn’t friendly to my online learning environment. At one point they decide to throw things in the computer in a bid to get attention.

I had to excuse myself from the class several times to attend to them and catch up later.

You may plan on what to do, but before you follow your timetable, you have numerous distractions such that at the end of the day you have only done 10 percent of the scheduled work.

Commitment to the classes

I will attest to the fact that at some point some of the classes were not worth the time. Staying motivated to stay on the computer for four hours for two consecutive two-hour classes was not easy.

The temptation to leave the computer and catch up on the news on check on what is happening at home was much high.

However, I managed to beat that strong urge not to attend classes by changing where to study within the home.

At one point, I had to take my classes from the balcony to have a view of nature.

Missing the physical interactions

The sudden change to online learning took away the social support system that comes within campus learning.

You have to rely on technology to communicate and learn. It was hard for my practical sessions where the lecturer had to do all the practical sessions on her own.

Your work was to watch and try to relate with your theory classes, not that you can’t physically participate and face the challenges.

I missed the walks; the lunchtime dates as we wait for afternoon classes which has an impact on our social and emotional well-being.

Although social media played a significant role to bridge the gap, still it didn’t fulfill the urge to have the physical presence of your classmates.

Adapting to new technology

It is through virtual learning that made me learn new apps, technological advancement, and some audiovisual platforms that supported our online learning.

Things that I never heard of had to be part of my daily learning life for the success of my online classes.

I will say the pandemic was a blessing in disguise. It made me appreciate the little things I ignore, like freedom and social capital.

However, I still have a long way to go when it comes to technological knowledge.

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