In Their Own Words

Online learning: A pandemic special?

I woke up at 08:55 sharp. Still in my T-shirt and shorts, I fumbled through the tangled cords of my laptop charger. After plugging my laptop in, it’s now 08:59. Clicking on the Microsoft Teams icon and watching it taking its sweet time to load … And it’s now 09:01.

Then I heard the professor’s voice, oh no, he’s already on Slide 3. But it’s OK, I am just a small icon on the screen with a hundred other students, no one would notice.

I proceeded to get out of the bed, walking to the kitchen first and pouring myself a glass of water. Alright, he’s still explaining how the kidneys work, which we learned in high school. I then made myself a bowl of cereal and spooned the cornflakes into my mouth hungrily as I stared at the screen. He’s now on Slide 10.

I then opened Instagram and flipped through all the late-night stories. Nothing really interesting, but it is certainly more interesting than the kidneys. It’s OK, I’ll just watch everything on 2x speed later. Mentally, I was not yet awake for three back-to-back lectures, and my head was still throbbing from yesterday’s migraine.

And that is what I like about online classes. I get to sleep until the dot, and my professor is holed up cozily in his home office. The best thing is, I wouldn’t miss a single word that he says, because everything is recorded!

If education is all about absorbing the knowledge, then this is a great way for students to study at their own leisure and in conditions that work best for them. For me, it is lounging on my couch with two fluffy blankets while eating my breakfast, plus skipping the redundant introduction and going back to sentences that I didn’t have time to take notes on.

I am not opposed to online learning at all. It gives us the flexibility and an optimal learning environment that maximizes our potential. We could prioritize pieces of information that are most important to us and skip those of little yield. Multi-tasking between different categories of daily activities also becomes a possibility. We also save the time on commute and the money on maintaining a physical space. Virtual education has revolutionized our learning course and created a more comprehensive learning environment.

So maybe the pandemic did give us something positive after all. We have explored and discovered a su perior approach to education, and virtual learning is here to stay.

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Angela Tsai

Dalhousie University – Fourth Year Student
Halifax, Nova Scotia

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