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How to Stay Connected to Classmates During Online School

Importance of social connections during COVID-19

By andrewdeen14Published 4 years ago 3 min read
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How to Stay Connected to Classmates During Online School
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

In many areas, students of all ages are going to be learning online for the next few months at the very least. From kindergarteners to college students, everyone is trying to stay connected to one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be challenging to feel that “togetherness” while learning alone in your own home.

Whether you’re a college student or the parent of young children who won’t be going back to school until the fall, those connections are important. Here are some tips for staying connected in the virtual classroom and maintaining ties with friends from school.

Be Sure to Share Homeschool Resources & Tips!

Lots of parents suddenly find themselves homeschooling without having any opportunity to prepare. While you might have guidance from your child’s teacher, it can still be daunting to educate your kids at home.

Parents can survive this new normal by sticking together. Share homeschooling resources, tips, and tricks you’ve learned with other parents, and ask questions when you’re struggling with something. Having a community you can lean on when you’re frustrated with your child’s inability to focus is key to getting through yet another day of juggling homeschooling, work, and other responsibilities.

If you’re a college student who’s struggling with focus, productivity, and other aspects of going to school online, remember to stay connected and get help by asking your classmates what they’re doing. Everyone is dealing with obstacles, so stand together in solidarity and share your best tips for learning at home.

Organize a Gaming Night or Session with Classmates

Let’s face it—people of all ages are missing having fun with friends. It can be hard to have a good time together when you can’t meet up for a playdate or a cup of coffee, host a study group in person, or play a board game.

Even though your options for connection are currently pretty limited, it is possible for students to connect with their classmates and have fun. It can’t all be virtual study parties—get together for something low-key that will help everyone relax.

By Dave Henri on Unsplash

Physical game nights are off-limits, but there are lots of multiplayer games and even digital board games that can support several people at once. Why not get your classmates together for a night of gaming fun?

A few tips: If you’re a parent, choose an age-appropriate game that’s suitable for everyone. Don’t suggest games that are expensive or require sophisticated tech. There are lots of free or inexpensive games that can be played on almost any computer or phone!

Although You’re Staying Connected, Do Try to Limit Screen Time

We all know that too much screen time isn’t good for us. It’s really hard to limit your time with devices, though, when you’re trying to stay connected to the world beyond your home. When you’re learning online, connecting with friends over video chat, and relaxing by playing games or watching TV, the screen time can really add up.

Try to keep screen time to the essential activities, like connecting with classmates and learning. Sure, you can watch Netflix or play video games to unwind, but also take some time away from the screen to do other activities. Kids can enjoy drawing or playing with toys, while older students might like doing crafts or helping in the kitchen.

Staying physically active is also important, even if you can’t get outside. Indoor activities like yoga offer a break from screens and can help students regulate their mood.

By Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Don’t Forget the Power of Social Media!

Social media can take away from true connection during normal life, but it’s helpful during social distancing to connect. You can use social media to keep up with how your classmates are coping, share ideas, or even plan for the future. Social platforms like Pinterest and TikTok are proving to be welcome distractions from our current reality and can help students stay connected to their friends.

Go Old-Fashioned & Have a Pen Pal

With all the time we’re spending online, something real and tangible feels all the more special. If you’re tired of texting, think about going old school and send a letter. People of all ages love getting something physical in the mail and it’s a great way to connect and remind someone how much you care.

By Scott Graham on Unsplash

Make the School Year Seem Shorter

School’s out, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your friends until the fall. Finding creative ways to connect with classmates is time well-spent and will help you feel happier and more connected until we can all see each other in person once again.

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