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Leading from behind

Learning Behind the Mask: Communities come together in remarkable ways to learn and adapt through COVID-19

This story was written by By Haley Clift.

It has been two years since Ole Miss students were sent home, in-person classes were moved online and COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. There have been challenging moments, deep sorrow over lives lost and moments of social disconnect. Nonetheless, communities have come together in remarkable ways to learn how to adapt and reconnect.

Integrating technology into classrooms has provided opportunities for students to learn beyond the traditional classroom setting and instantly connect with anyone, anywhere and at any time. The enhanced learning environment inside and outside the classroom has provided interactive experiences and intentional education. The combination of in-person, virtual, and hybrid appears to be conditioning students for the technologically-dependent world they live in today. The current student generation should be better equipped, more resilient, and more prepared to face whatever communication challenges and experiences should come because of the skills learned by communicating online.

Video conferencing, for example, has served a variety of purposes and enhanced learning because people have been able to virtually connect from across the globe with their peers, co-workers, and family members. Students meet inspiring speakers from their field on a Zoom call that they may not otherwise have had the chance to meet if they were in a traditional, everyday classroom setting. Throughout the school year, many professors, club leaders and organizations invite alumni and guest speakers to speak on Zoom.

Jacqueline Cole is a junior integrated marketing communications major from Memphis, who enrolled at Ole Miss in Fall 2019. Cole reflected and compared her experiences before and through the pandemic.


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