The bell ringing. Books hitting the desk. The chatter. It’s the place many of us thought we’d never miss. As I sit from my desk in my bedroom, surrounded by scattered worksheets and loose sticky notes scribbled on with questions I’ve saved for my 12 o’clock Zoom conference with my math teacher, I think of how simple things were just a month ago. I think of how asking a question was as easy as raising your hand. How your learning experience wasn’t dependent on your WiFi connection. How great it felt just walking into your favorite class, seeing, and talking with your favorite people.
That was normal back then, but today, the idea of normal is something entirely different. At first, around a month ago when my district broke the news about a week of school closure, I, along with many of my friends were excited about the idea of an extended spring break. Even better, we were told that our work would be nothing more than a review of material we’d covered previously. For many of us, it was essentially a free week to hang out with friends and not really worry about school. The anxiety and paranoia hadn’t quite settled at that point in early March, and things were only slowly beginning to unfold. Quarantine wasn’t yet a colloquial term we used to describe our daily lives as many of us, myself included, were still hanging out with friends and venturing beyond our backyards. Online learning wasn’t much of a challenge, at least not until teachers began rolling out new material. And after that, I know I speak for students across the nation when I say that was when I felt like I had to rewire my entire approach to learning.
As we learn more about online learning together, it is important for students and teachers alike to reflect about their journey thus far and help pave a way for this new normal to be successful. This is a historical moment in our education systems across the nation. What if we decided to take the time to learn together, listen to the ideas we have to support online teaching and learning, and implement innovative solutions to help both students and teachers succeed online. It will take time to get used to, but if we can plan ahead by sharing tips and tricks with one another we can shape a better path to successful teaching and learning online.
As students ourselves, we had to make adjustments for online learning. It wasn’t easy and we’re all still trying to adapt to this new reality. As with anything, it’s important to get help from others and to continue to support each other to improve as a community collectively. A perfect way to do this is to learn through tips and tricks that worked for other people. Some of the best tips for online learning are:
Tips and Tricks for Online Learning
- Designate a place for you to do all of your assignments and to put all your materials. This allows you to be organized and keep all your school-related things in one place.
- Create a weekly schedule for you to follow. This will help you establish a routine and allow you to complete your work without procrastinating.
- Take breaks every 45 mins – 1 hour. Walk around! Grab a snack! Hang out in the backyard! This’ll keep you from getting bogged down.
- Figure out the time of day that YOU are most productive (morning, afternoon, evening), and commit to using that time block to get most of your work done.
- Try your best to follow your teachers’ weekly schedule as much as you can. When questions arise, be sure to ask your teacher(s) so you can understand your assignments and complete each on time.
Nevertheless, we’re all this in together and we will continue to adapt to this new reality of online learning, together. It’s more important than ever that we stay connected and support each other during these challenging times. If you have any tips for online teaching and learning, please sign up to be featured on our blogs and social media! Let’s create a community of teachers and students who learn together as we embark on this nationwide online learning journey. One way for us to navigate these uncharted waters of learning virtually is for us to share our tips and tricks, allowing us to become more effective at learning from our very own homes.