Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, students of all ages have had to dive into remote learning at some point in their educational careers. Whether their first experience with distance learning is in kindergarten or college, it can be a tough transition.
Remote learning has many benefits, especially when it’s unsafe to attend in-person classes. Some students thrive on distance learning and choose to continue with an online college program after high school. With that said, it also comes with many challenges, which vary from student to student.
Distractions at home, a lack of resources, and difficulty engaging with the material and the class are all obstacles students have to overcome when attending classes remotely. However, it’s sometimes necessary for students of all ages to use distance learning tools to ensure that they don’t fall behind. Here are some tips to help them succeed.
Teachers will have their own goals for online learning. However, it’s important for students to set their own goals and have some ownership over the learning process. Taking the larger goal of a class and breaking it down into more manageable steps will help students feel less overwhelmed by the assignments and learning objectives.
Whether students have to attend class at a specific time every day or the lessons are pre-recorded, routines are important for distance learning. Getting up, brushing teeth, getting dressed and having breakfast before class are routines students perform before attending classes in person — why shouldn’t they stick to them when attending school remotely? Having routines will help students focus and maintain the attitude they need for optimal learning.
Routines are helpful for carving out study time too. If a student always studies for an hour after dinner, they will be less likely to skip it and will be more likely to succeed in their distance learning classes.
At home, there are distractions everywhere. Students of all ages can easily get sidetracked by everything from a younger sibling to the television in the background. Digital distractions are especially powerful and can keep students from paying attention in class or getting their homework done.
Students can eliminate distractions in several ways. Setting up a dedicated and quiet area for virtual classes and homework is the first step. Putting phones in silent mode (or keeping them out of the room altogether!) and turning off other devices can help students stay focused. Some students can also benefit from website blockers, which temporarily prevent them from visiting distracting websites. Keeping tech on lockdown during school hours can really help students achieve their academic goals when learning remotely.
Don’t Let Breaks Get Out of Control
Breaks are very important for students — they need time to rest and recharge in between classes and tasks. However, short breaks can easily stretch out into huge blocks of time that take away from learning.
Again, taking technology out of the equation can help. Students might want to consider taking a walk, having a healthy snack, or reading a chapter of a good book during their breaks, instead of reaching for their phone and scrolling for a while!
Maintain Privacy Online
When learning online, it’s important for students to understand the real issue of cybercrime and how it can affect their safety. For younger students, maintaining privacy online is primarily the job of parents and school officials. For older students, who have more freedom and knowledge of these types of issues, precautions are important.
Many students don’t realize just how dangerous cyberattacks can be. While stealing student information isn’t as serious as cyberterrorism, for instance, it can still cause a lot of problems for individual students. Students need to be educated on why cybersecurity is so critical and how they can protect their information while engaging in remote learning.
Remote learning can make students feel isolated. They might be afraid to speak up on camera, ask questions, or reach out when they need help. Many students have trouble staying focused during class, even if they are taught live.
The good news is that participation can help with this. Students should try to get involved in class discussions, whether over video or in written form. This kind of participation helps boost engagement and focus and reduces any feelings of isolation coming from remote learning. It also helps students learn so they can boost their grade.
Remote Learning Benefits and Struggles.
Some students have very little trouble in the remote classroom. Others will struggle significantly. As a counselor, you can help set students up for success by giving them remote learning tips that will allow them to stay more focused and engaged with the material and class.