Online learning can bring students a sense of community and support--critical elements of mental health, especially during COVID.

Students feel isolated–online learning can help their mental health

Online learning can bring students a sense of community and support--critical elements of mental health, especially during COVID

Because CODCA is always online, there are never any inconsistencies in what students are getting on a day-to-day basis. This can help alleviate potential anxieties of switching from online to in-person out of the blue.

Dedication to every student in a one-on-one setting. One of the biggest issues that students face in a brick-and-mortar setting that can really hold them back both mentally and academically is not having enough one-to-one interaction with their teachers. It’s much easier to navigate hosting these individual meetings in an online setting.

One-on-one meetings are essential, and I cannot emphasize it enough, for student success. This year especially, with my students in my English class, I’ve seen students who had trouble handling a group setting thrive after meeting in one-on-ones.

Flexibility. Earlier this year, I created and sent out a survey to my 10th grade students. Sixty-eight percent of them said they didn’t think it was important for them to be on their microphone or webcams during class. One response I received read: “I think the webcam is good for some cases, like for reading and doing classwork in groups. However, I think it can also make the class distracting if many people have their webcams on at a time.”

And although I do agree with that, having the option to turn your webcam/mic on or off is important for keeping students engaged in their community. Because at the end of the day, class is a community, and being part of something can seriously improve a student’s mental and academic success.

Having the option to turn a camera or microphone on or off isn’t the only way online learning provides flexibility. Students can also work at as slow or quick a pace as they find necessary, and having that optionality can really be beneficial to students trying to improve their mental health.

Looking towards a better future. Because CODCA is a career learning-based program, we are always thinking about the future and how students can build on their future careers early on.

I’ve talked with my students several times about how text-based communication is the way of the future (remote jobs, online college classes, etc.). Giving them a better idea of what their future holds really helps to alleviate the stresses of the unknown.

When it’s all said and done, online learning can do a lot to improve a student’s mental health during a time when it’s so hard not to feel isolated. It all goes back to that sense of community and a support system, and as long as kids, no matter what age, at the very least have that, they can find their footing once again!

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