Every single person have had their lives impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another.

Across Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji and the rest of the world we have heard countless stories detailing how their lives have been affected by the pandemic response.

We’ve heard from frontline healthcare workers speaking about their round the clock, exhausting work in often under resources hospitals. We’ve heard from politicians describing what measures would be enforced to limit the spread of the virus and what responsible citizens can do. We’ve heard heart-warming stories as people have come together to protect and provide services and food to the most vulnerable in their communities.

Disappointingly, we haven’t heard much from one of the groups of people that were among the most effected: students! This once in a hundred year event forced young people from all across the province to rapidly adjust to remote learning. Students and teachers had to rapidly adjust to knew software, new procedures and new environments as they did their best to keep up their studies.

Now that the students of Dominic College in Tasmania have been back at the school for a week or two, we asked a cross-section of students what they enjoyed about home learning and what they are looking forward to the most when classrooms return to normal.

Remote Learning in ClassroomNot all students had the luxury of returning home during this period, so students were seperated as much as possible within their classrooms

Overall, students enjoyed their digital remote learning experience as they could still keep in contact with their friends and teachers while also being able to spend more time with their family and pets; home-cooked meals for lunch and recess were also a major positive! Having said that, almost all students agreed that they were looking forward to returning to the classrooms - they couldn't wait to see their friends again "in real life" and some even mentioned they were looking forward to less screen time!

Ivy, Prep

I have enjoyed learning in different ways and spending more time with my family and my cat. I am looking forward to seeing my teachers and my friends. In one word I would say this experience was ‘exciting.’

Thomas, Year 1

I enjoyed getting my own laptop with all the apps and being able to learn in my own bedroom which was comfortable. I am looking forward to being back and playing with my friends, using the play equipment and being back in class with my desk, friends and teacher.

Sienna, Year 2

I have enjoyed learning on the laptop and still being able to see my friends and teachers on the camera. When I go back to school, I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends again. In one word I would say this experience was ‘FUN!’

Lily, Year 3

I have enjoyed staying at home, I liked using Microsoft Teams to see my teacher and my friends. I am looking forward to seeing my teacher and my friends in real life. In one word I would say this experience was ‘different.’

Remote Learning TeachersTeachers address their class through the magic of the internet!

Will, Year 4

Something I really enjoyed while using some of the different learning apps like Code Studio, Prodigy and Microsoft Teams (but not Typing Club). I am really looking forward to seeing my friends and teachers and being able to learn in the classroom again. In one word I would say this experience was ‘challenging.’

Cameron , Year 5

My favourite parts of remote learning were being able to have live classes and being able to interact with my fellow classmates. I also loved being able to sleep in and having hot lunches made by my mum. I also enjoyed having more time to go on bike rides with my sister and dad. I am looking forward to playing with my friends again.

Ekam , Year 5

I had a lot of fun while learning at home. We had all kinds of issues with Teams while we were learning it but it was fun seeing my friends during Real Time Teaching. I am looking forward to being able to spend more time with my friends again

Holly , Year 5

My favourite thing about remote learning was doing PE and Drama because we got to talk to the teachers and do so many things like Haka and voices in Drama. It was an amazing experience. I can't wait to see everyone again and go back to drama in person.

Most students enjoyed remote learning but also can't wait to get back to seeing their friends in the flesh on a daily basis!

Cooper, Year 6

Something that I enjoyed about remote learning was that we were able to have frequent brain breaks to help us get away from the screen for ten minutes. Something that I am looking forward to when I come back to school is seeing all my friends. In one word I would say this experience was ‘different.’

Ivy, Prep

I have enjoyed learning in different ways and spending more time with my family and my cat. I am looking forward to seeing my teachers and my friends. In one word I would say this experience was ‘exciting.’

Ainsley, Year 6

Seesaw (a computer program) has been really useful with online learning. It allows us to share, comment and see what other people do. We can post our work for teachers to see and approve. If we have not completed the task fully the teacher can send it back for us to check to make sure we are posting to the best of our abilities. We can also use a microphone to explain our thinking out loud. There is a text button so we can write our thoughts on the task. I am looking forward to returning to the classroom to help with our learning again

Poppy, Year 6

SEQTA (an education app) has been very useful for remote learning at home. It has been great for finding out what we are doing in the day, responding to questions on forums, reading the notices, reports, and timetables, and is really helpful when you forget what you are doing in a subject. I can't wait to catchup with all of my friends!

Bella, Year 7

The things that I have enjoyed is learning how to use more things on my computer like Microsoft Teams and MyEd online. I am looking forward to seeing my friends and teachers in person and I am looking forward to learning at school.

Jorja, Year 8

One thing I enjoyed about online learning was the range of different ways to learn, like websites, videos, and games. When we go back to school, I am looking forward to being able to see friends and being able to learn with the rest of my class.

Teachers all around Australia and the Pacific did an incredible job of upskilling and adapting their classes to an online format in such a small amount of time!

Ella, Year 8

I have enjoyed having my time in quarantine doing the things I like such as netball and dance and doing things in my own time. I think the best thing about being quarantined is that you are less stressed to be on time and there’s less rushing around which is good. Remote learning took a bit of time to get used to but it’s okay now and I don’t mind it. I am excited to go back to school and see all of my friends because I have missed them very much over the past couple of weeks.

Phoenix, Year 9

What I enjoyed about remote learning is not waking up at 6.00am and getting the one extra hour of sleep that I needed! What I’m looking forward to next week is seeing all my friends and being back in the classroom.

Jackie, Year 10

Remote learning came with its ups and downs, some of the positive things that came out of remote learning were being able to try new activities or activities that I had not had the time to do before. I was able to get through the schoolwork set and then take some time to do something new or different. Although remote learning was great, I am looking forward to seeing my friends and teachers and being able to get away from my laptop screen as we transition back into classroom schooling.