SIFORDI

SIFORDI = C4D (Communication for Development)

Overcoming challenges as an online learner

The learning season has just begun at the UPOU with its new, western-oriented schedule. One of the questions that popped-up in one of the modules I am following this semester is this: “How do I overcome the challenges as an online learner?”

I titled my reply in this discussion as “There’s an app for that!” enumerating the many apps and programs that help me hurdle the challenges as an e-student.

I consider being and feeling alone as my biggest challenge as an online learner. As online learners, we often do assignments alone, we study alone and even take our exams alone. While I truly love the fact that I can follow this study while having a fulltime job and a freelancing career, I sometimes do miss just sharing experiences with my classmates in a “real” non-virtual world. Human contact helps a lot especially in stressful times.

Since I have to manage my study time alone, I’ve found these apps and programs useful in my life as an online learner:

Evernote – I use evernote to create an overview of the course I am following, a checklist of the assignments I have to submit and a study plan for the whole semester. I have a study folder with different notebooks for each module and course through which I keep myself organized. It is also handy for ‘clipping’ useful websites and articles related to the study. This way, all my notebooks and clips are available to me anytime, anywhere.

Pomodoro – The pomodoro technique is a longtime time management technique that trains you to work for 25 minutes and take 5-minute breaks. I use it to keep not only my time but productivity in check. Sometimes, we are too focused on what we’re doing that we forget to take breaks and breaks are good not only for productivity but for re-focusing.

Send to Kindle – Screen reading is bad for your eyes. As online learners though, we receive so many digital copies. What’s worse, we HAVE to read all of them! I installed this program on my computer wherein I ‘send’ the digital files I need to read. The files I ‘send’ to the program go directly to my Kindle. I just have to turn my Kindle on and the file gets synchronised automatically. I read all my digital files on e-paper (Kindle technology) which does not hurt my eyes.

WordPress – Many online modules require a personal journal. I use WordPress for this requirement since it is easy, has an active community and SEO-friendly. Check my DEVComm journey on https://sifordi.wordpress.com/.

Powtoon – I use Powtoon for school presentations. I feel that it is the best way to present because one can make him/herself present even if one is not physically there.

Here are also useful programs for group projects:

Dropbox and Google docs – These programs are useful for group projects and big files you need on the go. For group projects, it is easy to just drop planning documents and minutes of meetings in the Dropbox or use Google docs for team editing of files.

Skype – Useful for group projects that require students from different countries and time zones to meet.

And of course, Facebook has been helpful for us to interact with our classmates. How about you? What are your challenges as an online learner and what’s your app?

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