Remember all those Sci-Fi movies set in the distant future? The characters always portray the school of the future to be very different from today’s. I remember them having a personal robot tutor to teach them and dispense homework. Today, we are closer to that being a reality than ever before. COVID-19 has changed the way we attend classes and “go to school”. We are currently experiencing an unprecedented global pandemic, an epidemic so massive that it has forced all of us indoors. Lectures and classes are being conducted fully online. So, how do we adapt to this new normal, and take advantage of our online classes?
What Are Online Classes, Anyway?
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone indoors for an extended period of time, including students. As a university student myself, I have experienced first-hand the sometimes complicated transition of physical classes to a virtual space.
But first, let’s define what online classes actually are. As the name suggests, online classes are basically a lecture or class that takes place online. This could be in the form of a forum, meeting, or video call where the instructor can broadcast slideshows to the entire class. Students would need decent Internet access and a gadget of some sort to attend these classes. Due to COVID-19, almost all classes have been moved online, from kindergarten classes, all the way to university lectures.
Online classes are usually carried out on these platforms:
Dress To Impress
The beauty of online classes is that it completely eliminates travel time. In my experience, I don’t need to wake up early and drive to university. Now, the class comes to me. I just roll out of bed and log into class. This may lead to a decrease in productivity, because you are not forced to get into “study mode”. You may end up feeling lazy and not concentrating in class.
One way to combat this is to dress to impress. Wake up early, prepare your stationery and notebooks, and make yourself presentable. This will help set your mind and body in the right mood for classes. This is especially helpful if your teacher or lecturer requires you to show yourself to the class. You will give a good impression to your teacher because you look prepared and presentable. Get dressed, maybe sneak in a sandwich or some bubble tea, and start your classes right!
Stick To A Routine
All around the world, governments and policy makers have put in place certain guidelines to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Malaysia, the government has introduced the Movement Control Order (MCO), where certain restrictions against non-essential activities have been enforced. Despite the government reducing the restrictions recently, I have personally found it very hard to maintain a routine. Consequently, the different daily activities have blurred into one long, continuous exercise. Therefore, sticking to a routine, or creating a new one, can be very beneficial in these trying times.
But, I hear you ask, what should I put in my routine? I had to really think about my routine, because it seemed that quarantine provided me with infinite free time to do whatever I want. However, there are some key activities you can schedule time for.
You may want to consider…
- Study Time (online classes, revision, extra reading)
- Leisure (watch a movie, read a book)
- Exercise (opt for simple home workouts)
- Game Time (quarantine can be fun too!)
- Self Care (take care of your mental health)
- Other things that you’ve always wanted to do
Teach Yourself What Online Classes Don’t
This whole pandemic experience has really revealed the generosity in some companies and businesses. This is particularly true in the education sector. Recently, many institutions and online education platforms have made their resources cheaper, or even free, for a limited period of time. This means that you can take a course from Harvard University, or learn a musical instrument from a professional musician, all for free! Also, your classes will all be from the comfort of your own home.
I have also jumped on the bandwagon. Recently, I’ve been studying up on creative writing on Skillshare. I have also dipped my toes in some free writing and science courses offered by Harvard University. Additionally, there are some science courses on edX and FutureLearn that I would like to explore. There are also many useful education channels on YouTube, such as Crash Course and Seeker, which break down complicated topics into bite-sized chunks.
Here in Malaysia, secondary school students sit for the SPM examination in their final year of school. Unfortunately, not long ago, the Malaysian government announced the cancellation and postponement of the SPM examination due to COVID-19. However, according to Mr Ruel Abbarow, the exams may be postponed but learning isn’t. Mr Ruel is an international school teacher who has a rapidly growing channel on YouTube called “Mr Ruel Tuition”. He provides concise explanations on complicated topics that SPM students might not be able to understand.
Mr Ruel’s Online Classes
One day, I was scrolling through Instagram as per usual, and I stumbled across a post from a teacher I once knew. Mr Ruel was announcing the start of his brand new YouTube channel. Almost two months later, Mr Ruel’s YouTube channel boasts many educational videos with colourful thumbnails, all attempting to educate students about complex scientific and mathematical concepts. Even while preparing this article, I found myself caught up in his easy-going demeanour and the ingenious way in which he explains certain theories.
Underneath the banner brandishing his name and the slogan “It’s always time to learn”, Mr Ruel brings students (and former students like me) down a journey. Armed with his graphics and a laser pointer, he finds a way to not only simplify Kepler’s Law and the electrochemical series, but to make it relatable to real life as well. As a former student, I found myself immersed in his fascinating videos, exploring topics which I had long left back in secondary school. Mr Ruel makes learning fun, and what more could we ask from this pandemic than that.
The Next Step To Success
If you are an SPM or IGCSE student or teacher, do subscribe to Mr Ruel Tuition on YouTube. We all could use some extra help once in a while. Now, you can learn more from the comfort of your own home! See you there!
If you are stuck at home and miss the outdoors, why not check out these articles.