“We don’t have school for two weeks”, is what many students, like me, rejoiced on 13 March 2020, amidst taken precautions regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Little did any of us know that day would be the last day of school normality for the next year to come. Schools have transitioned to some form of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This massive change in education has caused many students to face difficulty in their academic careers. Although this school year would be seeing an end soon, these distance learning dos and don’ts can provide tips to help you get through the remaining time.
| 1 | DON’T: Attend online classes in bed.
Doing your online classes in bed can have negative consequences on your wellbeing. If you are laying down as you attend your online classes, you would become drowsy and tired. This might result in you not attaining a sufficient amount of information from the lectures to have an understanding of the topics being discussed. You also risk falling asleep in class, missing the lecture entirely and setting yourself behind from the class. You might also miss a breakout room and wake up to your teacher yelling at you to join it (personal experience). So, to avoid these scenarios you might want to consider getting out of bed.
| 2 | DO: Establish a great learning space.
The environment in which you learn matters a lot. Dedicate a spot in your home for distance learning. Given your at-home situation, if possible, try to dedicate a spot with limited noise distractions. If this is not possible, try to invest in headphones that can reduce outside noise. Furthermore, keep this dedicated spot tidy and organized because the physical environment you learn in reflects your online school experience.
| 3 | DON’T: Forget to eat and drink water.
From personal experience, there were times where I got so caught up with school that I simply forgot to eat. Not eating made me feel terrible, so please do not forget to eat. Taking care of your body and providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function is important, not only in days of distance learning, but every single day. Also, make sure you drink an adequate amount of fluids every day. The recommended fluid intake is 3,000 ml for men and of 2,200 ml for women, the majority of which should be water. Dehydration can cause a decrease in strength and stamina, which makes things worse for those who are already struggling. Taking care of your body and making yourself feel physically better will make distance learning a better experience.
| 4 | DO: Hold yourself accountable and pay attention.
We all at one point have scrolled through Instagram or TikTok during class, and I do not blame you – it is a temptation that is hard to resist. However, when it is time for distance learning, your teacher won’t be able to tell you to get off your phone, and you must be responsible for holding yourself accountable and actually pay attention. One way you can do this is to set your phone on Do not Disturb, and place it away from your reach. This way, you eliminate your phone as a possible distraction. Another way to do this is to take notes. By taking efficient notes during your teacher’s lectures, you have a purpose of paying attention during class. You can also make sure to participate and ask the teacher questions so that you are actively engaged and focus in class. These are a few tips that can help with those who get easily distracted.
| 5 | DON’T: Overwork yourself.
You already spend hours on end in front of your computer screen for synchronous classes, but you have to spend even more time in front of your screen completing your assignments. Overworking yourself is not good, but neither is waiting to do all of your assignments on the due date. Maintaining an efficient flow of productivity could prevent you from doing both. By maintaining an efficient flow of productivity, I mean spreading out your responsibilities, taking advantage of the days you have to complete them. This also includes taking breaks after every half hour or so during long work sessions. By following these tips, you prevent burnout and prevent stockpiling your responsibilities.
| 6 | DO: Love yourself and be proud of yourself.
This is by far the most important one. Set small and large goals for yourself and once you accomplish and achieve those goals, celebrate. For example, a goal could be doing good on your physics test. Feeling proud of an accomplishment helps boost confidence and motivation for distance learning, something that is needed. As for loving yourself, make sure you remind of yourself of your worth and that your performance in school does not define you. This gives reassurance and determination to excel.
These are only a few dos and don’ts and not everyone will resonate with all the tips, but make sure to take what works for you and find other tips that will work for you.
Campus Explorer, www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/832E936F/Top-10-Tips-for-Succeeding-in-Online-School/.
Geoghegan, Clara, and Aria Jia. “Staying on Track in Virtual Classes: Tips for Remote Learning.” Arts & Sciences Support of Education Through Technology, 23 Mar. 2020, www.colorado.edu/assett/2020/03/23/staying-track-virtual-classes-tips-remote-learning.
Becker, Stephanie. “Get Started in Online School: Tips for Middle & High School.” Connections Academy, 2 Jan. 2020, www.connectionsacademy.com/support/resources/article/8-top-tips-for-student-success-in-online-school.