Covid-19 has had an impact on all of us. Because of the virus, we may feel limited to what we can or cannot do on a day to day basis. Staying connected to friends, colleagues, and family during these times has been one of the challenges we face. Some of us are now accustomed to the Zoom virtual classroom, Facetime, or Google Hangout in order to stay connected with teachers, family, and loved ones. Although these virtual platforms can connect us with many people across diverse geographies, most students are feeling the effects of the lack of face-to-face interaction traditional school environments have always offered.
I am a rising senior at my university and have been using virtual platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom to stay connected with my fellow students and teachers. Although I feel like I have been able to attain some form of higher education, this virtual setting does not compare to the face to face relationships I had with my friends and professors on campus. Towards the end of last semester, I unfortunately found myself with little to no motivation as I sat at my desk listening to my professors’ lectures. Because of the pandemic, parents and students may both be wondering how the lack of social interaction may affect their future in the long run. Although these thoughts may be frightening, there are multiple methods students can use to stay connected while promoting academic and professional growth. Here are some things your child can do to make the most of their education during this time.
1. Find a mentor and set up some advisory time
Throughout my academic career, my experience has been shaped by the mentors I have accumulated over the years. Discovering a mentor may be challenging while we are required to stay at home; but, you can use these websites to discover potential academic facilitators: ICouldbe is an e-mentoring application that connects students to potential mentors with similar career passions. These mentors help guide discussions centered around preparation after graduation. Imentor is another platform created for first generation college students and is driven by the belief that all individuals deserve equal access to education.
2. Connect your student to a larger Peer 2 Peer group
The application PEERS edu believes that students have the ability to become mentors and facilitators for other students. With this new peer-to-peer technology, students have another resource to use to avoid feeling isolated while accomplishing their studies. This application can connect your child to a network of other high school and college students for peer to peer tutoring in any desired field of study. This application can provide your child with a quick tutoring session anywhere at any time. In addition to using this app for help with their online classes, your child can also use their skills within this gig economy education app as a tutor and make some quick cash during their free time! Encourage your child to try this peer-to-peer application to help boost motivation and stay connected with other students.
3. Get involved with a virtual internship
During this time, strive for professional growth by searching for virtual internships. This summer, I was scrambling to find an opportunity to gain experience in the workplace, but I continued to reach out to as many individuals as possible. By building a Linkedin profile I was able to expand my network and identify potential opportunities. I also used indeed to narrow down my search and discover potential virtual internships.Your school may provide its students with Handshake, a platform designed for students to discover potential internships in any desired area. The process can be tedious at times, but the exposure to the interview and search process is very beneficial in the long run!
What are some other ways you have discovered to help keep your child engaged during this time?