Yesterday I recorded podcast about using some thing like Zoom or any other video conferencing to help connect with students at this challenging time. For the learners I work with, who have learning differences, I know the ability for them to complete work at home is a challenge because they don’t have the same support systems available. Families right now are balancing working parents , as well as other siblings and the things they need to completed at home. And this on top of all the anxiety and uncertainty that is going along with today’s daily life. So with the idea of having a visual connection to maybe have students be able to ask questions or just interact as they do in a classroom may help provide a little bit of normalcy to what is going on in their lives. This could also ease the burden of parents having to support multiple learners in their house with different levels and layers of work happening. And let’s all a admit, none of us really wanted our parents helping us with work at certain ages! And while I know the balance of using some sort of online video connection is dependent on digital equity, as well as expectations of teachers and the familiarity of using such platforms, it would be nice to see just even moments for kids to be able to connect.
That being said what about adults? The human species is innately a social community. This is what is being discussed as a challenge to getting people to stop going out to places thus requiring cities and states to shut down those places where people normally would congregate for that ability to connect and socialize. So what about using things like Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime, any video conferencing to set up get together SS with friends. Have a midmorning coffee break with your friends who are also home or maybe a lunch date through some sort of video platform. Or even so much as what I know some friends of mine are working to put together, have a happy hour with everyone in their own living room but connecting and having conversation as you would if you were out in bar or restaurant. Also maybe connecting with family far away, that even though we may not see them regularly, will help us to feel a strong connection, when we cannot see friends and neighbors that are in the area. This new normal is scary and anxiety producing for everyone and the best ways we can support each other in many ways but most importantly for our mental health and finding ways that we don’t become so isolated that that adds onto the anxiety. So make a date with friends and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to get in your car to go do it but you can see each other and you can talk with each other. Stay safe and healthy.