Learning From a Distance

2020 has been a rather complicated year to say the least. With the spread of a worldwide virus and various disasters affecting different regions, there has been little about which to be calm. However, God has remained gracious throughout it all.

Recently, many schools have opened up for the beginning of a new school year. Each one has decided upon its own sanitary procedures and teaching policies in accordance with national and local health regulations. 

Just as many other schools have decided, NCAI allows students to choose whether they want to be physically present in school to learn each day or to be a distance learner (DL). The teachers, some present and other available through Zoom, have accommodated both types of students for this semester. Creating a plan for both is no easy task, so thank your teachers for their hard work when you have the chance!

For distance learners, classes look a little different. Rather than having a Zoom call for every class each day, DL students mainly work on their own and complete assignments on the Google Classroom. Sometimes, it’s a little difficult to comprehend all of the content for a class, so if you have a DL friend, offer a hand! I’m sure they would be grateful. 

Most DL learners are in the country, but some are stuck abroad as flights are unavailable or other impediments have not permitted their return. Students outside of Nicaragua may start school later or earlier depending on their time zone. This includes some that have or have had classes in the middle of the night or the late afternoon. However, many teachers are incredibly understanding of the time difference. 

According to multiple consulted students, online classes are much more difficult than in-person education. It requires self-teaching and often consists of delayed responses from teachers due to their busy schedules. One student specifically mentioned that “long distance learning lasts literally all day and into the night,’ and she feels “like there are no breaks.” Self-motivation and discipline are certainly necessary for DL students. 

One student questioned about the methods of teaching stated that they preferred Zoom calls as opposed to solely Google Classroom instruction. This was due to the facilitation of asking questions and the social aspects that result from the conferences. Having very little interaction with classmates and teachers can be incredibly frustrating to DL students. 

Nonetheless, these diligent students try to see the best in their situation. A decrease in strict dress code requirements, and in some cases, a slightly later start time are some advantages of distance learning. No masks and easy access to food and parents can be a major plus as well.

Some DL students desired improvements based upon their recent experiences. For one, rather than making assignments due at 12 AM or earlier in the evening, students have asked for them to be due at 7:15 AM when school begins. Another suggestion includes making weekend homework due on Monday rather than Friday nights. 

During this time, a large portion of students may feel overwhelmed. One interviewed student advises that we trust God, a concept that may not be easy but is definitely the best. He gives strength and guidance when we feel that we have none. 

Mikayla offers encouragement to all DL students by saying, “you can do this, I believe in you, I know you can do this, we will get through this together. God has a perfect plan and His plan is way better than ours. It’s better than what we can imagine. God already knows the date that we will all be united on our beautiful Nicaragua Christian Academy International Campus again! I’m praying for you! If you need someone to talk to, message me on Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook 🙃”