The current pandemic has affected daily life in a myriad of ways, forcing each one of us to adjust to a new normal which is, ironically, anything but normal. Instead of crowding in a classroom with twenty other students to learn about the American Revolution or Algebra, we all now patiently wait in-front of our computers, anticipating an impersonal and lengthy Zoom meeting. Although we now lack the traditional school experience, there are still a number of ways to keep us all informed and educated about the world around, both inside and outside of the classroom.
First and foremost, among many other historical moments, the year 2020 is an election year. Even though politics is certainly a topic you want to avoid discussing during family dinners, it is also a critical component in understanding the current state of the world. With countless new sources at our disposal, it is increasingly easy to stay educated on important issues that have recently surfaced. By downloading one or two news source applications and taking five minutes out of your day, you can keep yourself socially and politically aware. However, it is also easy to fall into the trap of “single-story journalism,” or exposing oneself to only one perspective of an ambiguous issue. In order to prevent this occurrence, it is important that you inform yourself on the same news topic using multiple sources that encompass differing perspectives. For example, it would be a good idea to read about the implications of the 2020 Election Results from both New York Times, which tends to skew more left, as well as Fox News, which tends to skew more right. The product of informing yourself using two sources stemming from different political ideologies is that the resulting information you collect can help you make an informed discussion regarding your own beliefs.
In addition to reading news sources, a quick way to educate oneself is to listen to the radio or podcasts. In fact, most notable news sources, including NPR and the New York Times, have podcasts available on Spotify and Apple Music to download. The benefits of a podcast is that you can still learn about the world around you while completing other tasks such as walking your pet or going for a run. Likewise, if you have newspapers delivered to your house weekly I recommend you give them a quick browse. Pro-Tip: If you do not have a lot of time, but you still want to stay informed, reading the first paragraph of an article will give you the jist of the story. Interestingly enough, journalists often put the most significant details relevant to the news story at the beginning of their articles in anticipation that their readers do not have enough time to read the entire article.
Although the pandemic has transformed education into an almost unrecognizable endeavour, it is still important that you keep yourself informed about the world around you, which can be done using various types of media. If you find an interesting read, make sure to pass it along to another member in your Lion’s Heart group! Sharing knowledge is equally as important as educating oneself.