It’s Time to Break Unhealthy Pandemic Studying Habits


I’ve been in lecturers for greater than 20 years as a member of the physics college at Southeastern Louisiana College in Hammond, Louisiana. Right here, the division is sufficiently small that every one of us get to share within the course load, which is kind of good—it offers me a possibility to show a variety of programs, from bodily science (for non-science majors) all the way in which as much as quantum mechanics.

Through the first years of the pandemic, everybody in schooling needed to adapt, and most of our actions weren’t performed in probably the most excellent setting. At my college, we began off by transferring all courses on-line utilizing Google Meet. (That wasn’t an excessive amount of enjoyable.) This was supplemented with brief lecture movies. (I really loved making these.) Subsequent, we applied a hybrid mannequin the place some college students could be at school and a few could be on-line. (This was horrible.)

Whereas distant studying can have some benefits, as a instructor I seen that all of us picked up some unhealthy habits over the previous couple of years. Have you ever seen that after a vacation, while you’ve sat round and watched an excessive amount of soccer whereas consuming greater than you usually would, you won’t be at your common stage of health? Nicely, the identical factor can occur with studying.

With train, you already know that after the vacations it’s a must to hit the fitness center or get outdoors with a purpose to get again in form and really feel able to tackle the world. With studying, I believe it’s extra about determining tips on how to constructively use the applied sciences that helped us go distant as a substitute of counting on them as a crutch.


It may be surprising to appreciate how a lot energy we feature round with us on a regular basis. Not solely is your cellphone a really highly effective laptop, it additionally has an honest digital camera and a bunch of different sensors.

And good telephones typically belong at school: It is doable to make use of your cellphone to gather and analyze information. For an experiment, college students can use the accelerometers within the cellphone to measure the space an elevator travels. Or how about utilizing a long-exposure photograph to measure the pace of the Worldwide Area Station? You possibly can even resolve physics issues by creating Python code proper in your cellphone, or use built-in lidar to create 3D maps of a room.

In bigger lecture-style courses, as a primary step at school discussions, I’ve the scholars use their telephones to vote their solutions to conceptual questions. (One in every of my favorites is in regards to the acceleration of a tossed ball at its highest level. A typical reply is that because the velocity is zero, the acceleration can also be zero—however that’s not true. In actual fact, if the acceleration was zero on the highest level the place the speed can also be zero, the ball would simply magically look like stationary.)

Nevertheless, there’s a technique the scholars use their telephones at school that I believe is just not at all times such a good suggestion: They take footage of every part. (Admittedly, this has been occurring for some time, so it’s not purely pandemic-related.) Now, do not get me fallacious—I additionally take numerous footage. Photographs aren’t simply an effective way to seize reminiscences of your favourite canine; they will additionally function a reminder of issues we have to do, like taking an image of the grocery record. So what’s the issue with college students taking an image at school of a physics resolution or the derivation of an equation?

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