With So Much of Work and School Online These Days, Staying Social is More Important Than Ever!
It’s an often-repeated phrase that “humans are social beings.” And, it’s likely repeated so much because we all know it to be inherently true. Social distancing, while important in these pandemic times, can also be isolating. Protecting physical health is important, but it is also wise not to lose sight of the fact that the mind is part of the body – mental health is important, as well. Mental health affects physical health, and dealing with the negative effects of potential isolation will mean engaging in new forms of communication, as a means to staying social during these increasingly digital times.
Social relationships and online school
Flexibility and accessibility are two key components of successful socialization for people who study and work online. Flexibility takes the form of both being able to navigate various communications platforms and also being able to know which times of days those platforms are most active. Accessibility means making sure you are contacting your teacher, mentor, coach, or supervisor semi-regularly to help keep you knowledgeable about all of your platform options for outreach. And, staying up to date on any changes in preferred communications portals and mediums can help establish deeper roots in online social relationships, to help combat feelings of loneliness. If there are no current study groups, or groups that focus on areas of special interests and hobbies, then having the flexibility and initiative to start your own group can reap terrific social rewards.
Social interaction is important for online learning and career prep
In addition to the general mood and mental health benefits that a healthy social support system can have, social interaction plays an essential role in online learning and career prep. Learning doesn’t happen in an individual bubble. Learning is a combination of exposure to new information, perceiving, interacting, and expressing… to name just a few components of the process. Learning happens in groups. The group can be as small as two or three people, or much larger, but social interaction is key to successful learning and career prep. Being exposed to new concepts and ideas, reviewing the material, interacting with it, discussing it with others, and even teaching it back through tutoring are all ways new neural pathways are formed. This promotes deeper and broader learning for better outcomes.
How to increase social interactions to gain the associated benefits
So, aside from some of the previously mentioned suggestions, there are other ways to increase social interactions. If you feel that the options available to you aren’t enough in your current setting, you can try hosting a virtual lunch group to meet people from all over the world, create and host online games tailored to various subjects to meet like-minded people, connect with a school in a different state and see if you can arrange for a pen pal (platforms such as “ePals” make this very convenient), or create an online journal and start a fictional story session where contributors each write a chapter and you finish a book together as a group. All of these options, and other creative endeavors, can help keep socialization up and motivation going… even when the bulk of the time is spent digitally.
Be sure to check out the Stride Insights article, Shy Student Makes Friends In Online School, for further reading.
And, to find out more about Stride Career Prep’s online programs, visit the site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep.html
Considering enrolling your child in a Stride K12 school, for further education and career prep options and experiences? The best time is always now!