COM0015 – Blog 1: Social Media Tools

In the beginning of 2020, I made the decision to go back to school and take a course that I was interested in while working full-time. I wanted this to be something that I had limited knowledge about but that I could apply to my future dreams, ambitions, and business goals. Social media is essentially the new way of communicating. Aside from small children, almost everyone has an electronic device and Wi-Fi is basically “free” everywhere. Technology is our new future, it will only become more developed, enhanced and advanced. I currently only have Facebook and Snapchat and I find myself more as a lurker, however I do aspire to become a creator and connector! The decision to take these courses prior to knowing we were going to be living through a pandemic, has given me the opportunity to try various social listening and monitoring tools. It has also helped me gain more understanding and knowledge regarding a social media strategy, storytelling, and social analytics.

While completing the previous assignments, I signed up for many free trials for various social media monitoring tools. The customer service was amazing. They offered extensions to my trials, free demos, and exceptional support. Based on me experimenting, I found the following free and paid tools the most beneficial.

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Social Monitoring/Listening Tools

Google Alerts (free): I found Google Alerts very helpful and very simple to use. Once the alert is set up it basically works for you. I appreciated the fact that it links to your Gmail account. Whenever a keyword is used online, I would receive an email notification. This ultimately helps keep up to date and stay on top of the newest trends and interests.

Mentionlytics: (free Trial). It gives you insights just by entering your brand or company name. This also has a quick setup, is very straightforward and easy to use. For someone with no knowledge or previous experience with social tools, I felt very comfortable and confident. You can analyze mentions right away and it gives you a very clear perspective of your business efforts. The search, alert and reports options are major bonuses within this tool.

Hootsuite: Although Hootsuite is a paid monitoring/listening tool, I would strongly recommend this based on the feedback and reviews I have read. This social media management platform allows you to manage different social networks in one place (single dashboard). Some features include scheduling posts, reviewing responses, interacting with customers, and measuring ROI.

Phot by Pexels.com Negative Spaces

News & Sources

CP24 is the main channel that is on in my house. Regarding local news they are my go-to whether its their website or their social media platforms.

Facebook is also great for news and updates. Someone always shares posts and updates from other platforms. The content is always current.

RT YouTube is a global news channel broadcasting from Moscow, London, Paris, and Washington studios to over 100 countries. This is great for worldwide news.

I have a strong passion for health, fitness and well- being and another outlet I visit regularly is https://www.strongfitnessmag.com/.  From training, nutrition, health, and motivation I am always learning or trying something new! There are also many videos and posts by inspirational women. Ladies I highly recommend this!

COM0014 – Blog 7: Personal Reflection

Why is storytelling important to creating great digital content?

People connect and communicate through stories and digital content helps paint the actual picture. They both go hand in hand. It helps their audience feel the emotions that are being expressed. The story telling aspect is all about making it feel real on deeper levels. Expressing your actions, desires, and experiences are all ways to captivate your audience through story telling. Essentially, when you entice and engage your audience you know you are on the right track.

How will your content be guided by story?

My content will be guided with great communication and interesting stories that will never leave my audience hanging. I plan to engage, entice, and express myself through sharing personal stories. Sharing my true authenticity and my real self is something that I truly think is missing. The online world is made up of filters and programs which alter the actual appearance verses the reality. I live by the saying ” beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. You don’t’ need to have money, name brands or live materialistically to be beautiful or stand out. We are all unique in our own individual ways, and it is our choice in which we express this.

What kind of stories do you want to tell?

I want to tell and share the most personalized stories. I feel like this will help me connect deeply with my audience and help me form personal bonds and connections. Audience diversity and knowing your audience is key to a successful business. This is one of my main takeaways in this course. I want to be able to inspire my audience through story telling and share my knowledge in hopes that people can learn from my experiences. I want to be able to move people and touch them emotionally. My stories will always have an impact on my audience leaving them with a taste in their heart, affecting them emotionally.  In Essence they will not be able to forget me but rather remember me. I also would like my stories to help people in anyway they can. Whether its adding value, solving a problem, giving a suggestion or tips. My intentions, my heart and my true authenticity is the ultimate story I want to share. If I can do it, you can do it! We are all human beings and when we come together, we can share, inspire, and motivate each other.

COM0014 Blog 6: What is your greatest fear for your business?

Photo by Pexels.com Michaela

Are you a procrastinator? Are you one of those types of people that has a bad habit of leaving things until the last minute? If so, we both have something in common. I am not sure if the feeling of pressure, discomfort and challenge secretly motivate me, but I find myself always procrastinating regarding my biggest fears also known as the things that need to be done. At some point in one’s life they often decide their future regarding career, goals, ambitions and what they plan to accomplish and achieve in life. For me, that is creating my own digital marketing business. There is no better time to jump into this, as we are in the world of digital technology. People are on their phones more than they speak to each other. Kids these days are more tech savvy than some adults!

Photo by Pexels.com Dominika Roseclay

After attending university for one year, I left, as it was not for me. I decided to work instead of waste money in the wrong profession. Eight years after climbing the corporate ladder in the logistics industry I am sitting here exploring my many different options in creating my successful online business. The key word above was ” exploring”. This relates back to the very beginning where I mentioned procrastination.  My biggest fear for my business is starting! Now this may sound far-fetched but starting is always the hardest part. Maybe not for just me but in general. If you want to start eating healthy or working out or creating daily change or routine, starting, and initializing is always the hardest part. They say to form a habit takes twenty-one days.

Photo by Kaboompics.com

I have spent hours, days, weeks, and months writing down my ideas, ambitions, and goals. I have a great imagination and try my best to gain knowledge in my spare time. Have you ever heard that saying ” formal education will make you a living; self- education will make you a fortune”. This is truly what I live by and this inspires me to continue bettering myself each day no matter how many challenges I face.

Photo by Pexels.com Andrea Piacquadio

Since I am so far behind in the online world, I signed up for this program in social media to gain insight, knowledge and understanding before diving into something deep that I am unaware of. I am currently in the process in completing this certificate to get my online business running. I have created an action plan with dates and plan to execute them in the coming new year. Execution, action, determination, and discipline are my focus to creating and starting my online business. This has helped me overcome my fears and make me one step closer to knowing my true potential and worth.

COM0014- Blog # 5 Personal Brand

Even though I currently do not have my own personal brand yet, I am in the process of creating my online business. I do not use any social media platforms aside from Facebook mainly for networking with family and friends. I intend on expressing and sharing my true authentic self with the world. I aim to reveal this as a moving digital story displaying my uniqueness and originality. Something that no one has ever seen before. I wish for it to go viral to help gain the followers and audience needed to expand and grow successfully. I have made baby steps to get the ball rolling. I will be investing in a ring light, new phone, and drone for marketing purposes. The Samsung S20 Ultra has three cameras and is known for its vlog capabilities. These are all in my best interest sooner rather than later.

Michelle Ramsaran 2016

My dream business is to become a natural fitness enthusiast/ specialist who will help share and spread knowledge to others. Based on my life experiences I will inspire and encourage others to be their most authentic selves and live life the natural way. I believe that there is always a natural route that people can take in any aspect of life. I will align my personal interests and passions and collaborate/network with influencers who share the same goals, interests, and passions.

I am proud of my current content that I have not yet shared. This ranges from personal workouts in the gym to soccer drills in my backyard. The focus is on calisthenics and plyometrics with minimal equipment. Sharing my Kenya experience with the world is also in my best interest. This was a life changing experience for me as it helped me appreciate my life here in Canada. I have recorded positive affirmations, quotes, and plan to create inspirational podcasts. I also prepared video clips of my meal prep and pictures of my delicious meals.

My future content includes educational videos regarding natural supplements/herbs that I personally researched during my spare time. I will educate and inspire those who may benefit from such plants/herbs. I will recommend meals and meal prep that incorporate these herbs/supplements. I will continue to create workout videos specifically at home due to the changes in the world today. I will continue to create positive affirmations and help motivate and inspire myself. I will also create my own products down the line and brand them.

Leaving the corporate world helped me find my true self. Taking that leap of faith has brought me one step closer to pursuing my dreams and aspirations. I will be working for myself, doing what I love which is helping people improve their lives, well being and lifestyle. This course is a steppingstone in accomplishing my true-life purpose and potential.

COM0014- Blog # 4 Amazon Case Study

Photo by Pexels.com Sagar Sonej

In 1994 Amazon Inc was created. The company originally started out as an online bookstore. Today Amazon is one the of largest e-commerce companies in the world even surpassing Walmart. Amazon is the market leader with a wide range of products including, technology, software, music, film, apparel, and homeware which has created such a strong customer base. Amazon clearly understands the affect of a social media strategy and I strongly believe they have mastered their target audiences. When people want to search for something they think of Google. When it comes to buying something the number one vendor is Amazon.

Amazon has made strong efforts regarding social media. They have separate products and are not only B2C but B2B and C2C. They offer Amazon, video, music, prime, web services. There diverse variety of products is one of the main reasons why they have been such a success. Aside from their main accounts, Amazon plays a significant role in social media. I have listed a few platforms they are currently using and brief explanation on the impact.

Social media platformImpact
Amazon.com & Amazon.caAmazon’s main web domain for either US or Canada is their main source of traffic. This is where everything is linked to.
FacebookProviding enticing and valuable content to their customers. Used to market their own products, highlight deals, competitions and offers to consumers Specific Facebook accounts such a Prime Video. This is used to draw attention to relevant products/offers to intrigue, drive engagement and gain sales.
InstagramInstagram feeds are shoppable making it easier for customers. Instagram is used to focus on visually appealing content and products. This is to increase overall brand reach.
TwitterThis is not only used as a marketing tool but to improve integrated e-commerce. Users can send items to their shopping cart directly from Twitter by using #AmazonCart.
SnapchatThis is used for network specific content. Snap deal or deal codes are exclusive, one-off style offers that lend themselves perfectly to the network.

I would like to share my first experience with Amazon. In 2015 I decided to try a free 30-day trial for Amazon Prime as it was new to me. Not that I was a fan of online shopping at the time, or had anything specific in mind to buy, but hey it was free, and I had nothing to lose. As time went on, I forgot about my Prime membership, and did not use it within the thirty days. I received an email from my financial institution about a strange $80 charge from Amazon and if this was something, I should be suspicious about as it did appear very randomly. I immediately called my credit card company to ensure this was a legitimate charge. I then contacted Amazon who were very empathetic, patient and understanding and ensured they were going to help me. I expressed my frustration that I did not sign up for Prime and I was only on a trial, I felt that this was not authorized with my consent. After a very minimal hold, the representative acknowledged my concerns and informed that I contacted Amazon USA instead of Amazon Canada. Before getting more frustrated they went on to advise that they would contact Amazon Canada on my behalf and initiate a refund request with them so I would not have to repeat myself. After being transferred to Amazon Canada, my request was completed all within five minutes. They verified my information and informed that it would take a few business days to appear on my credit card. This experience is why I am now a true Prime customer. Online shopping has now become a norm for me. I am also an Audible member which is another Amazon product. Listening to audio books while I go on nature walks helps me relax and stay focused. As a proud Prime and Audible member, I also benefit from the perks that are offered.

I strongly believe Amazon’s social media marketing approach is one of the best considering they are the number one online retailer in the world. Since inception, Amazon’s vision is to be the most customer centric establishment on earth. Amazon has been more willing to go above and beyond for their customers than any other business. They clearly understand how social media aids in excellent customer service. They listen, respond, and offer value to their consumers. I look forward to see what they have in store for the future!

COM0014- Blog # 3 Cannabis Culture Today

There has been many misconceptions regarding cannabis also known as marijuana or weed. These have circulated in our society and made it out to be the worst ” drug” out there. In 2018, marijuana became legalized in Canada and in a few US states. Since legalization, this industry is highly competitive and growing very fast. Cannabis brands must strongly differentiate themselves to different consumers (audience) to stand out and become successful. I smoked my first joint at 14. It was an experience I will never forget. I am now 29 years old and based on my own self-taught knowledge and research I am proud to share that smoking marijuana does not make me a bad person. I feel that these misconceptions are based on stereotypical beliefs since it was not always legalized. The perception of cannabis has significantly changed which is why this industry is growing. This is also due to lack of education, which is what I am strongly passionate about it. I may not be a marijuana advocate, but I certainly would like to educate those who do use it for recreational purposes.

Photo by Pexels.com Cottonbro

Like many young people when I first tried weed it was for the experience and the feeling. I had no idea what I was smoking, what THC or CBD was and how it even worked. Educating myself about Cannabis has truly helped me recognize the anatomy of the plant itself and helped understand the perspective of why people smoke. It is not about just “getting high or stoned”. I have broken down some of the main components that I was once oblivious to.

Photo by Pexels.com Karolina Grabowska

THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol – this is the component in cannabis that makes you feel ” high”. This can vary in % based on the type of strain.

CBD: Cannabidiol – this is the medicinal component in cannabis that promotes overall healing. This also varies in %.

Cannabis also comes in different strains. The most common three are: Indicia, Sativa, and Hybrid.

Indica: More relaxing affects.

Sativa: More energizing effects.

Hybrid: Combination of the two.

Consumers also have many options such as dry flower, concentrate, oil, tinctures, edibles, or hash.

Photo by Pexels.com Sharon McCutcheon

The cannabis market has many different types of consumers. As stated previously, brands and companies must differentiate themselves to capture their target customers. How do you choose your strain? This really does depend on what effect you desire. Cannabis has a range of medical uses, side effects and can be better for certain conditions. It can also interact with other medications so it always best to do your own research before trying something new. I have broken down the following based on my own personal research. I have provided a brief explanation for the below potential audiences regarding cannabis use.

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Medicinal users (Patients): these are often people who have been referred by a medical professional and use various strains to treat chronic pain, or disorders.

Parents: since legalization, many parents tend to smoke once the kids are in bed. Some may enjoy this with a beer or wine. This also affects the demographics. Older parents may be accustomed to their traditional ways whereas younger parents are more open to trying new options.

Professionals: most people are employed full time. We all have responsibilities and priorities, which can lead to mental exhaustion and fatigue. Brands that focus on mental health and overall wellness will generally capture such audience.

Creatives: artists or people who like to use their imagination tend to use cannabis to enhance their creativity. Sativa dominant strands are known to increase productivity, energy and enhance creative focus.

Experts (Connoisseurs): the name says it all. These are the types of people who will spend the extra dollar on the top-quality herb. They are highly passionate and appreciate power and information.

Stoners: millennials can fall in this category but lets just classify this as todays youth. These are the young people who hang out with friends that want to “get high”. They lack education and smoke mainly for the feeling.  

There clearly is not one type of cannabis consumer. Those who make up the cannabis culture are educated, diverse and cultured. Gaining and learning what drives customers to make purchases helps improve and enhance the current business. Using digital marketing tools through social media platforms will overall improve communication with your audience. Optimizing social media, targeting real-time campaigns and incentive driven perks can also entice customers. Analyzing the data collected, allows you to create experiences that are customized to your customers preferences. This can influence how you are perceived online via web, content, display etc. By using measurable data, companies can develop products and align them with the customers future needs and interests as this often changes. Overall building a strong voice and being present where your audience is spending time online is crucial.

COM0014 – Blog # 2 The power of storytelling

What comes to mind when you think of storytelling? This often reminds me of my childhood when my grandmother used to read me a bedtime story. Or during daycare when we had story time. Or even visiting the library to borrow books. Story telling has been around for many years. It is essentially ancient communication that dates back to the Aztecs, Aboriginals and even Shakespeare. Throughout history, story telling has been shared through various styles such as, dance, music, or narratives. It is an effective way used to communicate, express, and share passion and emotions in an authentic way. No story is ever told in the same way. Everyone has a unique and special way in conveying their message.

The way we communicate today has significantly changed with the online world and technology, however the ancient practices and traditions still exist today. The Indigenous culture continues to embrace their storytelling tradition by expressing themselves through dance, music and the arts. The online community allows people to share stories with millions of people, all by a click of a button. This allows us to create dynamic, diverse content to engage with your audience. The desire to express and share stories brings communities together, encourages bonding, and expresses passion and emotions. I have shared a few communication styles that may be very helpful.

Communication Styles

  • Clarity conciseness: ensure that you are clear, concise, and balanced. What you deliver should include a beginning, middle and end.
  • Grammar, punctuation, spelling: this is very important to ensure you do not lack credibility and professionalism. Proof reading is key!
  • Passive vs. active voice: active role is a style choice that is clearer and more interesting to the reader.
  • Practice makes perfect: the more content you produce the better you will become.
  • Beyond the muse- methods to encourage interaction and engagement: It is always best to create a list or make notes to capture ideas. This is to ensure your audience absorbs, engages, and interacts with your content.
  • Begin with the end in Mind: entice your audience is something to consider. What action do you want people to take? Create content that inspires or entertains. Make it personal, share experiences, ask questions, and provide share links.
  • Do not bury the lead – start with the most important information. Since most readers scan through information, the most crucial information should be read first.

Story telling is an opportunity to inspire, motivate, captivate, and entertain your audience. I would like to conclude with a personal experience that I hold very close to me. In 2018 I had the opportunity to visit the Maasai Mara in Kenya. I visited local farms, helped build part of a college, and adventured through the African safari. We were accompanied by 2 Maasai Warriors who went above and beyond to locate a lion. One evening around a campfire, they shared their story of their Maasai culture. The entire atmosphere that night felt as if we were part of their community. The bond, the energy and the passion were incredible. It was an unforgettable experience. To hear what this culture must do, to become a Maasai warrior is unbelievable.  My overall experience in Kenya has truly helped me appreciate my life here in Canada. We take many things for granted while other people in the world are so content with what we would call struggling or suffering. I have shared my Kenyan memories below. Enjoy!

COM0014 – Blog # 1 Hard work puts you where good luck can find you

Have you ever considered yourself lucky? Like winning something out of the ordinary whether it’s money or a contest or a prize. Through out my life I would say I was some what lucky winning school draws and maybe one hundred dollars at the casino but nothing like a jackpot or a car. In November 2019, my mother happened to have the best luck ever. Let me start by introducing my mother. She has been a single mom for over twenty years, she came to this country with very little, she works very hard and always put her kids and family first. She has a heart of gold and is one of the most hospitable people anyone can meet. When visiting her house, it is always best to go with an empty stomach, take home bag and containers. Since November tends to be a cheaper time to travel, we decided to look for last-minute deals as we booked a week off together. We had travelled to Mexico and Cuba in the past, but did not have anywhere in particular in mind, as long as there was sun, a beach and alcohol we were on board!

The next day while I was at work, I had missed an email and a call from my mom. I quickly returned it, and I was in shock! “Michelle, I won a trip to Mexico” she exclaimed. I asked her, “are you sure it’s not a scam?”. I was a bit negative at first because it seemed very random, and you cannot always believe everything you receive through email. Since no one believed my mom, including myself, she contacted the company to ensure everything was legit. CWT Vacations was the name of the travel agency. My mom and five other people had filled out an online application for a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Mexico. What a coincidence! They say everything happens for a reason. Aside from winning a seven day all -inclusive trip let me share the amazing perks that came with it!

My mom, myself and the other winners were all accommodated in the Hilton Hotel by Pearson Airport. My mom and I stayed in separate rooms. We were greeted by CWT Vacations and Air Canada representatives, we were offered drinks, and delicious appetizers. We had the pleasure of participating in an interview and photoshoot with our Air Canada carry on luggage that we were gifted.  I have shared our interview below. Can you guess who I am?

Even though this was my third time visiting Mexico it honestly felt like it took forever to arrive. When we arrived to our room, there was a nice bottle of champagne, waiting to be chilled, with a card that read, “To Mr. & Mrs. Ramsaran”. We could not stop laughing. Despite my parents being divorced for over 20 years, my dad and I had a great laugh when I shared this with him. The resort, beach and pool were beautiful. The food options were delicious. The hospitality was exceptional, and the weather could not have been better. I have shared some more pictures below.

Visiting the spa was one of my blissful and peaceful moments in Mexico. It honestly felt like paradise. The palm trees, the pool, the hot soak, I wish I could go back right now. Laying in the hammock felt like tranquility. The healthy food options were also a bonus! The Chic Cabaret was a musical performance my mom paid extra for. We were not impressed with the food, but we enjoyed the drinks! My mom had a blast and joined the big dance party on stage at the end. We had the pleasure of meeting a famous bartender and mixologist David. This overall experience was intriguing. We mixed and prepared dry ice, alcohol, and cooked spices. Who would have thought I was in cooking and chemistry class all over again? The below slideshow reflects these great memories.

Winning a trip to Mexico was not the same as visiting previously. This was one of the best vacations ever and I am so grateful to have been able to spend it with my mom. Hard work truly pays off. Thank you, mom, for everything you are and everything you do. I love you!

Survival of the fittest

Michelle Ramsaran 2016

About

Have you ever met or spoken to someone who is passionate about their overall well being? If your answer is no, not to worry, because here I am. My name is Michelle Ramsaran. I am 29 years old from Toronto Ontario. I have a strong passion for traveling, soccer, fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle. I have been playing soccer for over 20 years, and I typically have always been very outgoing growing up. I am a moderately healthy person, who eats three meals a day and I do try to get in some sort of exercise. Aside from my three meals, I am guilty of munching and snacking at night, but who does not have a sweet tooth? I am also a strong believer in living life to the fullest and pursuing my ultimate dreams, passions, and ambitions. My smile is contagious, and I love helping others as much as I can.  In 2017 I went through a life-changing experience that has now made me the best version of myself.

My story

In May 2017 I began to experience digestive issues. I had just returned from Florida for a work conference. Considering I was a healthy person I found it very concerning that I suddenly started experiencing digestive issues. I decided to visit my Dr. immediately. He initially started me with acid reflux medication in the hopes this would relieve my symptoms. Weeks went by but the symptoms were still not resolved. I returned to my Dr. who began sending me for blood tests, and ultrasounds. I was tested for Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. The ultrasound was for my gallbladder. Both tests came back negative. It was now August, and the symptoms remained mild enough, that I was still able to go to work. In the second week of September, the symptoms began worsening and I started feeling sharp pain down my lower back. I left work one afternoon and instead of seeking medical attention, I avoided it in fear. It was thirty degrees that year in September and all I wanted to do was soak up the sun and go swimming, I was in denial, and ultimately afraid of the worst possible diagnosis. After a fun-filled weekend, the pain returned down my lower back, and at that point I made the decision to go to the emergency. Thankfully, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it has now saved my life. I was given a shot for pain and returned the next morning for a CT scan and ultrasound. Have you ever had an IV, stitches, or staples? Prior to this experience I would have answered no to all the above, but I experienced them all in one shot. Later that same day, I was rushed into emergency surgery and remained in recovery for an entire week. I was suffering the entire time from Appendicitis and an Umbilical Hernia. My surgeon was very concerned as he did not know how I suffered for that long. I had been suffering with more than one issue and was oblivious for months. This was one of the most emotional and challenging times of my life. 

The road to recovery

Michelle’s Breakfast 2017

The road to recovery was not easy. It took a while for things to gradually go back to normal. I was given two months off work and that is where I decided to take a more serious approach to a new lifestyle. In January 2018, I went back to playing in both of my soccer leagues and started to train three to four days a week in the gym. I not only lost weight but lost a lot of muscle mass as well. My diet was also very difficult to adjust too. I was disgusted by meat, seafood, and basically all of the things I once loved.  On the bright side, I no longer craved sweets or sugar. I created a meal plan to follow mainly for my breakfast and lunches. This went hand in hand with my gym regime. My healthy lifestyle was not only about what I ate or what I physically did. This also impacted both my mental and emotional health. I began listening to positive affirmations, took long walks on the trail near my house, and enjoyed the best parts of nature. As I started to build back my strength, immune, and overall well-being, I finally felt like a human again. 

Maintaining my healthy Lifestyle

Michelle Ramsaran 2018

 I am very proud to say that I am the healthiest I have ever been. I have gained more confidence in myself and I am happy that I have overcome one of the hardest things I never would have imagined going through. I continue to train in the gym and maintain my healthy eating habits. I walk, run, and jog on the trail while listening to positive affirmations, podcasts, and audible books. I spend ample time doing my own personal research in herbal medicine and natural supplements. This has helped me gain the knowledge and insight which I have applied to my everyday lifestyle. This entire experience has helped me understand myself more and that “we are what we eat”. What we put into our bodies is crucial for our overall health and well-being. The irony of this all, is that it is now May 2020 and COVID-19 has changed the way we all live. It is truly about; Survival of the Fittest. This is honestly what I practice each and every day. Our bodies are our temple and it is mandatory that we take care of ourselves, no different than the things that we value. The best investment in life is yourself!  

The future way of learning

Photo by Pixabay at Pexels.com

In March 2020 the Ontario government made the tough decision to extend March break for an extra 2 weeks due to COVID-19. The kids were grateful to have an extended break, but little did we all know that this would become the new way of learning. Schools have now been closed until May 4th, and perhaps they may be closed for the rest of the school year.  So, what exactly does the government have in place for these children from Kindergarten to Grade 12?  Online Learning.

Photo by Christina Morillo at Pexels.com

Online learning

The term “E- Learning” has only been in existence since 1999, when the word was first utilized at a CBT systems seminar. Other words also began to spring up in search of an accurate description such as “online learning” and “virtual learning”. Online learning has primarily been used in both college and university.  It allows more independent learning and studying at your own pace. This course that we are currently taking is a perfect example.

Learn from home

The ford government has provided options for kids to participate in online learning from home. For families who do not have the required equipment, the school/government will be providing this. There are several learning materials and tools available covering subjects such as math, language, science and even French. I encourage all parents or for those that are interested in our education system to take a look a the following link https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home. This provides you with the breakdown of subjects offered per grade . I am impressed with the options that are available considering the limited time and panic we are all going through.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels.com

Happy Easter to those that celebrate this holiday. Due to social distancing many of us were unable to see our families physically, but thanks to social media and the internet I was still able to video my niece and nephews. Let’s hear what the kids have to say when it comes to learning from home.

Name, Age , GradeAre you completing online school?What are you learning?It is easy/hard? Is it different?Do you get help or need help?Do you want to go back to school? What do you miss?
Kylah Folkes, 14, grade 8Yes – 10 hours a week ( 2 hours a day)Language History Math ScienceYes it is very easy but different since it’s not real school. No I do not need help, but I can text my teacher through Google classroom, but their response is delayed. I can also ask my mom for helpYes I want to go back Friends  Worried about graduation
Nicholas Ramsaran, 9, grade 3YesMath Language Science ReligionYes some of the questions are hard and it is very different from going to schoolYes my dad helps me when I am stuck on questions I do not understandYes I want to go back Friends Teachers School and classroom
Dylan Ramsaran, 8, grade 2YesFrench Language Math Science ReligionNo it’s not hard but yes it is very differentYes my mom and dad helps me when I do not understandYes I want to go back Friends Teachers Gym Class
Jaxon Ramsaran, 4, JKYes – my mommy prints it offLetters Number CountingIt is much easierMy mommy helps meYes I want to go back Poems Friends Teachers School
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels.com

Impact on parents

Even though I am not a parent , I love being an aunt and I’m currently in a relationship with someone who has kids. Even though this transition for learning is impacting kids it is also impacting parents. I spoke with my sister in law who shared a few comments.  It’s hard getting all three boys to concentrate and do the work. They sometimes feel like its a punishment that they have to sit down and work on school everyday. It is a lot easier to have them work on it individually, at home they are easily distracted, where as in school they are in a  learning environment around other kids and are more inclined to learn. This is more responsibility for parents,  but it allows them to take a deeper interest in their child’s education and learning development. A stronger bond, relationship and commitment are built with parents and their children when taking this time to help them with online learning.

Impact on the future

It is times like this where it makes children appreciate how important school is. My niece and my nephews had 1 main thing in common and that was that they miss going to school, they miss their friends and teachers and that they would like to go back. At this time we do not know when COVID will end and when schools will be re-opening. Will learn from home be the future? What are your thoughts? Based on the feedback from the kids today, they do not want this to be their future!

Facebook: Is online learning the new future? Are your kids learning from home?

https://bit.ly/38SytrF

Twitter: The new way of learning is online

#onlinelearning#elearning#onlineisthewaytogo

https://bit.ly/38SytrF4

References

efrontlearning.com. April 2013. Retrieved from  https://www.efrontlearning.com/blog/2013/08/a-brief-history-of-elearning-infographic.html

Ontario.ca. March 2020. Retrieved from

https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home