COVID-19 has left us all with a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions. It’s hard to know where to turn to for the information we need. We hope this page will be helpful in pointing you towards some great sources of info!
New Zealand resources
The New Zealand government’s Unite Against COVID-19 page has a comprehensive list of resources related to COVID-19, the rules and regulations around the current lockdown level, and the current state of New Zealand’s fight against COVID-19. The Ministry of Health provides updates, information and advice on COVID-19.
Keep in mind that much of the information provided by these sources is quite dense and detailed. We have listed friendlier resources later on in this post. If you do have a specific question and you are keen to find an answer, these government resources should have the information you need.
For students, parents, whānau and teachers, the Ministry of Education has a Learning from Home page that has many resources on coping with the COVID-19 crisis. This includes several tip sheets and modules related to COVID-19, both for adults and youth.
For young people, check out this Wellbeing Support for Young People tip sheet, which provides advice on coping with the stressful time brought on by COVID-19. There’s also the Wellbeing and Learning at Home During School Closures resource, which provides advice specific to coping with remote learning, and also check out our Youthline guidance around studying from home.
Other useful government pages are The Ministry of Education (who provides advice for tertiary students and advice for students, parents and whānau) and Work and Income, who provides work-related advice and guidance for employment rules and financial assistance during this time.
The World Economic Forum has a few resources on what the global community of youth are doing to fight COVID-19. They recommend that young people:
UNESCO has launched a platform for youth around the world to share their experiences of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. You can read stories or contribute your own here.
As we’re spending more time online and less time socialising face to face, using digital technology in a way that is healthy and safe can be a challenge. Facebook’s Get Digital Citizenship and Wellbeing programme has a specific section designed for youth that discusses how to make healthy digital decisions, stay safe, build resilience, find a supportive community and use/create technology to promote good in the world.
NetSafe, a New Zealand non-profit for online safety, also has tips and resources for making the most of online time, advice for staying safe online and resources for identifying and shutting down online bullying.
COVID-19 science resources
Interested in science and curious about how COVID-19 works? Maybe you also have some younger family members part of your bubble? Nanogirl has some videos for children that explain what COVID-19 actually is and why hand-washing really does work. Other COVID-19 resources for kids, including stories and activities, can be found on the KidsHealth website.
For something a little more challenging, scientist Siouxsie Wiles and cartoonist Toby Morris have teamed up to explain the science behind COVID-19 in more detail. They make articles, cartoons and videos almost every day on lots of different topics related to science and COVID-19.
Studying from home is a new challenge for many of us. If you are in secondary school, uni, training, working, or anything and everything in between, we hope some of the tips below will be helpful.
Treat school days like school days
Even though you are studying from home, it is really helpful to keep a schedule that still feels like going to school. On a normal school day, you’d get out of bed at a usual time, get dressed, have breakfast and start your day. There would be breaks throughout the day and school would end at a set time. Sticking to this kind of schedule can help you stay focused and on task throughout your day. Still remember to have scheduled breaks – this will stop you from feeling too drained.
Find a place to work
With most of us at home, it is important to carve out a space that is ours as much as is possible. Have a chat with your parents, siblings or other people in your bubble about how to share space. Set rules and boundaries that identify your space and the times you need to focus. Communicating your needs will help others respect your space and time.
Keep distractions to a minimum
There are far more distractions at home than at school –the fridge is right there, the other people you live with are around and entertainment and social media are just a click away. Try to limit distractions during study time by choosing a space that is as quiet as possible and that is separate from your normal distractions. One of our best tips is to put your phone away while you are studying. If you still feel tempted by your phone, turn it off or give it to someone else in your household until you have a scheduled break.
Make sure you have what you need
Depending on where you live and your level of study, accessing school remotely may require physical material, a television, or even a computer and a good internet connection. If you do not have the materials you need, this is not your fault. As a student, you are entitled to accessible education. It is really important to let your teachers know what materials you are missing and what you need to access learning. This may include a computer, internet access and a quiet space.
Your teachers can’t help you get materials unless they know what you need. Please speak up for yourself about your needs! They can then work with the government to ensure you have access to your education.
For many students and teachers, distance learning is brand new. Have a chat with your teachers if you are struggling with any of the work or concepts they are going over in class. Letting your teachers know when you’ve gotten lost will help them become better at teaching remotely, and it will also help other students who have the same questions but are shy about asking for a better explanation.
Nervous about speaking up? Give us a call.
Being proactive about getting what you need, whether it’s from your household or from your teachers, is especially important right now. Even so, it can be scary to ask for what you need, especially if you are naturally quiet or worried about putting others out. If you are nervous about talking about your needs, have a chat to a friend for some support, and you can also contact our Helpline. That way, you can practice what you are going to say and gain some confidence to speak about your needs. You can contact Youthline here.
For more information on distance learning, you can visit the Ministry of Education website where they have posted various resources available for distance learners, including educational TV channels in English and te reo Māori. There is also a separate Learning from Home website that contains educational resources in English, and the Kauwhata Reo website with educational material in te reo Māori.