Having now completed two weeks of online school, navigating the inevitable mishaps and fun moments of online learning, I have come up with my top 10 tips for surviving online learning…
1. Make sure your teacher has a cute pet they can show you to aid your learning
There is no better motivation than your teacher’s or friend’s cute dog or cat making an appearance during your lesson. A small break from learning to show your pet I think is perfectly acceptable and should be encouraged. A good paws-e if you will.
2. Make good use of the TEAMS backgrounds to fulfil your holiday mode
Let’s face it we’re all missing our Easter breaks and summer holiday plans to Italy, France and other exotic places. So, making good use of learning ‘on the beach’ and studying in the ‘high mountains’ helps to fill that holiday longing.
3. Perfect the excuse for your camera being off…because you just woke up
We’ve all been on a call and someone has their camera off, they sound distinctly sleepy and don’t participate much; we all know they have most likely just woken up. But who can blame them really when there is a large temptation to stay in bed!
4. Find a place to ‘work’ and a place to ‘relax’
Getting into a ‘learning environment’ is an important step to shift your mindset from being ‘at home’ to ‘at school’. Try to find an area in your house that is different from where you do work. A great learning environment could be your kitchen, lounge or study if you have one. Try to avoid your bedroom, if you can help it.
5. Get. Out. Of. The. House
It goes without saying that exercising your right to ‘one piece of exercise a day’ is important. But it is even more important now that we’re all staring at our laptops all day. Find an hour in the day to walk, run, cycle or merely stand outside – you’ve got to get that Vitamin D.
6. Always have your class WhatsApp chat open – so you can all agree it’s not just you who has no idea what’s going on
Please tell me it’s not just me that sometimes has absolutely no idea what a teacher is going on about? Having your WhatsApp class chat open means you can always talk to your friends and share a laugh if things get confusing.
7. Make sure it’s not just you and the teacher before you join a lesson…that gets awkward
The moment just before you join a lesson, there is always a brief thought of ‘who else is already there?’ Being the first to start a meeting or waiting for others in your class to join can sometimes be a little awkward, unless obviously it’s your favourite teacher, then chat away.
8. Establish a daily routine
Trying to stay focused on a structured routine and timetable can really help to encourage a positive attitude towards online school. By dedicating specific time to work and factoring in breaks, it means your chance of productivity increases.
9. Set realistic expectations
Distractions, technical difficulties and motivation are all factors to bear in mind when attending online lessons and learning. Not being too harsh on yourself if you end up watching Netflix instead of that essay you need to write, is important to finding the right balance between work and relaxation. It is never going to run 100% perfectly.
10. Mute your microphone to limit the ‘interesting’ background conversations
Muting your microphone is not only a good way to focus on what the teacher is saying, but it also limits your chances of people overhearing that awkward and ‘interesting’ conversation your parents are having; or the accidental text message going ‘ping’ or the dog barking.