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studying online

Student Life

The Biggest Problems Remote Students Are Facing

June 11, 2021

More than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there are certainly some things we can look back on and learn from. Although many of us have had to deal with numerous sacrifices and life changes, students have probably had to adjust to some of the biggest. Not only are many of them being forced to learn remotely and online without in-person support from an educator, but they are also limited socially during one of the most important stages of social development in life.

Remote learning in and of itself has led to some challenges that students are struggling to work through effectively. Many are looking forward to getting back to being in the classroom, but for now, addressing some of the issues is one of the best things schools and local governments can do for them. 

Getting Connected

It probably isn’t too great of a surprise, but many families with school-aged kids aren’t exactly rolling in funds. Stay-at-home orders with remote work and education has put an even greater strain on family finances. For many students, not having a computer available to complete school work from home is the first issue they run into when trying to keep up with the rest of the class.

Some students have had to resort to sharing the family’s one computer with siblings, meaning not everyone can be online for class at the same time. This can present challenges when it comes to making sure each child is getting a quality educational experience. There is also growing evidence that this was a struggle students and teachers were dealing with long before the pandemic started.

Staying Engaged

Anyone who has been working from home during any point of the pandemic can testify there are far more distractions at home than in the office or classroom. This is equally, if not more so, truer for young students. Not only are there things to do around the house that aren’t school work, but it is also easy to get distracted online. Internet safety concerns amongst parents are on the rise as their kids spend more and more time connected to a screen.

It can also be hard for students to focus for other reasons. The pandemic hasn’t been easy and many students are working through trauma and stress associated with the dramatic changes in their lives over the past year. It can be hard to accomplish any school work effectively when dealing with mental health issues. For this reason, some schools are striving to make online counseling available to students who may be struggling; unfortunately, these services are the exception and not the norm.

For college students who have had to return home after living in dorms, living with family again has presented its own problems. The distractions of college life are not the same as those at home, where parents and siblings may demand more immediate responses. One way college students can be successful at learning remotely is by taking a cue from remote workers: set specific office hours and make them public — then no one is allowed to disturb you during your office hours.

Online learning, no matter the level, has the potential to open up a lot of opportunities for the right students in the right situations. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic was not one of those situations and many students are struggling in numerous ways. Connection issues, distractions, and mental health are major factors that can limit student engagement and that need to be addressed for long-term success.

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Student Life

Pursuing Your STEM Career Online

May 12, 2021

Careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can be highly lucrative. But pursuing a career in STEM can also be difficult while juggling life’s many obligations and pandemic concerns.

Given the shift to virtual classes and hybridized higher education brought about by COVID-19, online STEM learning is becoming increasingly popular. This can make pursuing your career even easier with the right preparation.

The Benefits of an Online STEM Education

Your STEM career can receive a reinvigorating boost from an online approach. As positions in science and tech continue to grow at a rapid rate, the presence of virtual options in education can mean greater flexibility and accessibility for you.

Among the benefits of online STEM education are the following:

  • Online learning puts your schedule into your own hands, allowing you to develop better time management for juggling work, learning, and family time.
  • Online learning gives you experience with new tech platforms and opportunities for developing self-motivation skills.
  • Online learning allows you to develop virtual leadership potential and redefine your skillset for the new working normal.

As tech advancements are helping to spark an interest in STEM studies from a young age, the benefits they bring usher in new opportunities for all generations. Virtually networking with classmates and professors mean you can explore your career with the safety and flexibility required in the modern workforce.

Exploring Your Options

But beginning your online STEM career takes plenty of preparation for success. From the way you manage your time while studying online to the program in which you enroll, proper thought and consideration will directly influence your ability to thrive.

First, explore all your options for degrees and vocational programs. A wide variety of STEM positions are out there, from data analytics to civil engineering. An online Master’s in business analytics, for example, can be obtained in as little as a single year, with short course eight-week options available to interested students.

The right program for you will depend on your intended degree. Career paths in STEM include:

  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Information technology
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics, and so many more.

Find your niche program that can support your career goals in a technical field. Not every STEM position requires a long-term, university commitment, and with the explosion of virtual learning, finding something that works for you is easier than ever.

With online learning, the world is your classroom. Look for courses that help you achieve your goals and develop strategies now for online learning success.

Flexibly Advance Your Career

The chief merit of online learning is its ability to offer flexible, customizable career advancement. This can be vital in fighting mental and physical fatigue in college, as you’ll focus more directly on your personal education goals in a schedule tailor-made for you. Work a job, wake up late, and keep your eye on your kids all while moving towards a lucrative career path.

Online learning gives you the tools to navigate life’s challenges while developing yourself. Take advantage of these benefits in pursuing your STEM career.

BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.