Adapting to online learning can be a real challenge, especially for students. As learners try to navigate virtual schooling, students and parents are meeting challenges unique to the virtual environment, such as staying motivated and on task throughout the day. Everyone is different, which means that online learning and its adjustment period will vary for each individual.
There are some approaches to taking online classes that can help every student be successful in this new learning environment. We have compiled six tips for how to adapt to online learning that will help students get the best educational benefits from this system.
1. Create a Comfortable Learning Environment
A student’s workspace should facilitate learning. Working and learning from home offers a lot of opportunities for distraction, whether it’s a ringing telephone, running vacuum, or tempting toy across the room. These distractions don’t exist or are minimized in the classroom, and it sometimes can still be difficult to focus in their presence. Creating a comfortable online learning environment may include hiding temping distractions, placing your student’s phone in another room, or reviewing their class schedule to help them remain accountable.
It’s also important to have a dedicated workspace that your child uses only for schoolwork. Working on their bed negatively impacts both focusing and sleeping, as their brain may associate the stress of school with being in bed. A dedicated work area helps separate school and personal time and helps students avoid working in personal time or relaxing during work time. Sitting at a desk helps the brain associate schoolwork with a specific area, making it easier to stay focused while there and relax when they’re away.
Finally, a strong internet connection is essential. Losing internet connectivity unnecessarily distracts from work and creates stress during the school day. Avoid these surprises by checking on your internet connectivity regularly and ensuring that your student is ready to learn.
2. Stay Organized
To stay organized, students can use methods like to-do lists and keeping their learning space coordinated. Create lists with clear, manageable tasks to help students reach their goals. Whether you organize these lists based on the day or week, the items on the list should have distinct markers of accomplishment. This ensures that your child knows exactly what they need to do to check the item off their list.
As your student gets older, involve them more in this process. Have them assist you in creating the to-do list and offer explanations for the decisions. As they gather more experience, they understand what factors to consider as they assign themselves work each day.
Online students can also benefit from a powerful learning management system like edio. The user-friendly interface in edio displays a personalized dashboard, complete with all of a student’s assignments, their due dates, and upcoming Live Classroom sessions. Your student always has their responsibilities at their fingertips with edio’s virtual to-do list, which integrates with a student’s classes to create an individualized calendar of schoolwork.
Organization should extend to your student’s physical workspace too. Help your student keep their learning area organized with shelves, cubbies, or other designated areas for items like pencils, notebooks, textbooks, and binders. These learning materials should be easily accessible for students whenever they need them to facilitate easier learning. At the end of the school day, students can put all of their materials back in their assigned places, maintaining an uncluttered learning area that helps them focus on the task at hand.
3. Use Schedules
Learning from home can be difficult because of how easy it is to lose track of time. Encourage your student to create and stick to schedules to help them stay on top of their responsibilities. Incorporate the regular online lectures and meetings to carve out time for formal instruction. Then, build around those blocks to schedule schoolwork and study time, allotting as much time as needed to ensure they complete assignments are completed before the deadline.
Schedules can be as detailed or vague as necessary, but students should have a clear understanding of what they need to do and when they are expected to do it. This also includes their free time, as relaxation is extremely important to avoid burnout.
4. Remember to Communicate
Most students are used to easy communication with their instructor when the classes are in person, as they share a classroom all day. However, communication becomes more difficult when students don’t feel the same connection to their teachers. For some, online learning can be isolating at first, but students can overcome this by prioritizing communication with their teachers and other students.
Students should check in regularly with their teachers to maintain an open line of communication. Asking questions feels more comfortable when they have already established a relationship with the instructor. Additionally, they should talk regularly with students in the same classes. Some questions can be answered by sending a quick message to a friend, and it’s good to have a backup in case the teacher doesn’t respond in time.
Remember that there is a time and place for everything. While building friendships with classmates is important, it would be inappropriate to try to talk about new TV shows on a video call during class. Teachers want to help students, and they are happy to answer questions. However, students should similarly show them that they are excited to learn and dedicated to hearing the new material.
5. Take Breaks
Video meetings and online classes can be deceptively tiring, even though you are sitting at home for hours. Fatigue, eye strain, and migraines or headaches are possible when students stare at their computers throughout the day. Students should take regular stimulus breaks to recharge and ensure that their minds stay sharp. Encourage them to take a walk around the house, have a healthy snack, or just sit in a different place and relax for a while.
You can incorporate these breaks into a student’s schedule, and they should have a set end time. Otherwise, a quick snack break can accidentally turn into a three-hour relaxation period that throws off the rest of the schedule.
6. Be Kind
Adapting to online learning can be difficult, so it’s important to be patient with your child. Some students may be adjusting to unfamiliar educational territory. Although online learning professionals have experience navigating the environment and expectations of online learning, students may still need to adapt. There is no single answer for how long it takes to adjust to online learning, so give your student time to establish a routine that works for them. Encourage them to practice self-care by doing things that they enjoy in their free time.
What to Know About CCA’s Online Education Resources
Commonwealth Charter Academy offers many resources for students and their families looking for more information about navigating online learning. Our blog is filled with posts about building a social cyber community, tips for staying motivated during online school, and deciding whether cyber school is the best option for your family and student.
Student resources on CCA’s blog can help students learn how to be more successful during their online schooling. Whether you have questions about the benefits of playing video games or whether you should join a club, CCA can help.
Experience Online Learning at Commonwealth Charter Academy
While Commonwealth Charter Academy’s blog offers extensive resources for students learning virtually, our website also explains how their flexible scheduling is beneficial for students learning with them. CCA works with students to coordinate academic and individual development to ensure students grow in every way that they can. If your student is interested in finding out more about online learning with CCA, you can request more information.