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On Campus: Welcome to the Google Meet?
Sunday 15 May 2022, 10:00AM
Ahem. I’ve told you, Khun, take that silly dog-face filter off before turning your camera on. Oh, sorry, that’s just your real face. You, Nadia, turn your mic on! Has anyone seen Tim this morning? Okay, guys, please settle down. Right, everyone, please look this way and get ready for the lesson. What lesson, I hear you ask? Well, today, dear readers, you’ll be learning all about the world of online learning. I’m Jie Jie Limpanapa and I am a Year 8 student at HeadStart International School. But today, I will be your teacher to take you through the pros and cons of online learning. From my own online learning experience (a grand total of 8 months in the last two years), about 90% of the students I know absolutely hate remote lessons. But is there still some good in it, or is it more disastrous than one of Elon Musk’s tweets?  For most people, online learning is quite convenient. After all, you have the ability to learn from the opposite ends of the world. However, some people take convenience a bit too far; I even heard of one boy who “took part” in a lesson from his phone while at Central Festival! In this situation, how can anybody stay focused and be able to extract some information from the lesson?  “Can I go to the toilet?” “Eliott, I have told you for the millionth time, turn your mic off!” Sorry about that. Where was I? Yes, so what is online learning for in the first place? Anyone? Obviously, we are in this Google Meet because of COVID-19. From this perspective, online learning gives us a safe place where we can at least get some education. Ah, I can see that Yim’s made a point in the chat box. Yes, that’s right, you are more likely to learn some research skills and be more autodidact through online learning.  Now, we have come to the most important part of the lesson. I want you to remember this and take some notes. They’ll need to be uploaded later onto our Google Classroom, I’ll know if you don’t complete it. In all seriousness though, one of the reasons that online learning isn’t as effective as it should be is because most of the students are unmonitored. During online lessons, we are being given trust and accountability to be responsible people. I have to agree with the teachers on this point, some of us aren’t grown up enough to behave ourselves. During online learning, we all went through some degree of social retardation. I, myself, became a human jellyfish! From a world of chatter and laughter, to waking up, sitting in front of the computer, and going to sleep. The cycle just went on and on and on for so long that when we finally returned to school, we became awkward and stilted.  At this point, I think we can all agree that our screen time has increased, right? This is one of the cons of online learning. If left unmonitored, it’s easy to see how this can snowball into an addiction, with a multitude of apps, games, and sites spilling into our daily lives.   Who knows when we will stop wearing masks? Maybe the world will soon be an empty dystopia, with unoccupied streets, people living in their own cyber-bubble, and onsite learning impossible. Who knows if online learning is to be used again? We could very well be the generation of Online Learners…?  But next time, if there is a next time, let’s focus on the lesson a bit more and try to be more aware when using the chat box. Please remember to turn on your cameras too, else I’ll be talking to icons of Peppa Pig, rainbow puke, and shopping bags. Anyway, you may leave the Google Meet. I hope to never see you here again.  Class dismissed. By Jie Jie Limpanapa NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PSU Phuket and its employees or official policies. This article was featured in ’The Phuket Collegiate Magazine’, the university magazine published by Milla Budiarto at PSU Phuket. For more information, visit: https://www.phuket.psu.ac.th/en/magazine or email: magazine@phuket.psu.ac.th.