After emerging from a second national lockdown into a tiered system, we are looking towards a festive season like no other. For five days we will be able to make a ‘Christmas bubble’ with family and friends for an unusual Christmas to end a very unusual year.
This year, we’ve all had to adapt to video calls to friends and family who are self-isolating, and while it’s been challenging for many, technological and digital advances mean it’s become easier than ever before to keep the channels of communication open.
Communities have been using social media to check in with each other, with some streets creating WhatsApp groups and villages making Facebook pages to support older or vulnerable residents, showing how technology is now being used in innovative ways to keep people connected. Even churches and other places of worship are benefiting from digital platforms to provide Christmas services and carols online to people in the community who are shielding.
Here at Kortext we are delighted that students have been able to return home to their families. And with the news about the vaccine being rolled out, a feeling of hope and Christmas cheer is in the air. It has been a tough and uncertain year for all, but the hope of holding our loved ones close again is becoming more of a reality.
As the year draws to a close, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve learned and achieved. Many of us have had to adapt to working from home; some have sadly lost jobs; others have changed careers – we have all had to adapt quickly in one way or another. Our amazing partners across the globe worked with us to provide students with online course books; teachers harnessed digital to provide classes and assessments remotely, and students globally – despite all the difficulties – started university, managed to continue their studies, and graduated.
We’re ending the year looking forward to what 2021 will bring, and for now Kortext wants to give a special shout out to the amazing students who have made it through 2020 with the extra stress of a global pandemic on top of their studies.
Our aim of making learning accessible for everyone has been especially important this year. At Kortext we want to make the study experience the best it can be and support students throughout their learning journey, with a goal to improve the learning outcomes for all students. Right now though, we want students to enjoy their festive break with family and friends in their bubble and to return to university in January refreshed and ready for the new year.
Of course nothing can replace contact in the ‘real’ world, but for now, at least we can look forward to celebrating in the way we know best: with seasonal food and drink and raising a glass to our loved ones – whether in person or online.
-by Emily Morris