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Welcoming pawsitivity to NAIT online learning

By Admin User on March 9, 2021

While the Covid-19 pandemic may have closed the doors to in-person classes, beginning the realm of online learning and everyday pajama day, this doesn’t mean students have it stress free. The pressure of due dates, exams and unexpected technical glitches prevail.

However, this stress has a kryptonite, and it comes with four paws.

Pets have taken advantage of owners being at home during this time, and they’re infiltrating online learning. But this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, learning with pets has been an approach that many schools have adopted, in order to help students with anxiety, stress, responsibility and relaxation.

When mental tensions rise, a good, fuzzy cuddle can quiet the brain. Pet therapy has proven to help build a confidence in students because animals give comfort, joy, reassurance and love. Pets also have a way of coming around right when you need them most.

Having a dog or a cat on the lap during class can keep a student focused and emotionally levelled. The simple motion of petting creates a comfort and reassurance that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Prior to Covid, NAIT students could visit Flynn, the NAIT therapy dog for an in-between-class snuggle or relaxing tummy rub (Flynn’s tummy, of course). Unfortunately, that’s not the case right now, but students without pets shouldn’t exempt themselves from this pleasure.

Hugging creates a similar comfort. Whether it be a pillow or a stuffed animal, as silly as it may sound for an adult, it works. The physical gesture can calm oneself and give peace to the mind.

It’s also beneficial to know that it’s always humorous when an animal invites itself onto camera in a virtual classroom. That presence alone can create joy for others.

The next time you’re sitting in a virtual class, and your best friend pokes their nose in on what you’re up to, or a tail cuts across the screen or a wet nose presses against the camera, know that they’re there to create a smile, and remind us that it doesn’t have to all be so serious.



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