Digital Progress

How to be successful in a virtual learning environment

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Arie Shaver

Adapting to a new learning system can always be challenging, especially if it's not something you yourself chose. Since late March, COVID-19 has kept us all at home and on our computers making it difficult for us to manage our time and productivity. However, there are a few ways in which we can improve our learning experience at home. Without further ado, here are five ways to ensure success in a virtual learning environment. 

by Arie Shaver, Reporter

Adapting to a new learning system can always be challenging, especially if it’s not something you yourself chose. Since late March, COVID-19 has kept us all at home and on our computers making it difficult for us to manage our time and productivity. However, there are a few ways in which we can improve our learning experience at home. Without further ado, here are five ways to ensure success in a virtual learning environment.

1. Maintain a sleep schedule
In order to remain composed and awake during your zoom calls, it is important to get enough sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine teenagers, 13-18 years of age should obtain eight to 10 hours of sleep per night. This means that you will need to create a sleep schedule that will allow you to obtain the recommended hours of sleep. One way to do this is by using the Apple iPhone bedtime feature which allows you to create a sleep schedule within your phone. Your phone will then alert you when it’s time for you to go to bed. By doing this you will not only have more energy during your zoom calls, but you will find it easier to pay attention and focus during the live instruction portion, which will help mark the pathway for good grades and success.

2. Create a space of your own
Since the school environment is no longer an option, it may be hard to get acquainted with doing work at home. However, why not bring the school set up to your own home. If you have a desk, clear it and begin to organize it according to your needs. You can invest in a pencil and pen holder and a bin for your textbooks and notebooks. This keeps your school supplies organized and ready for use. According to Psychology Today clutter can contribute to stress, anxiety, and poor concentration. So keep it clean, throw away empty water bottles and trash. Next, if comfort is more of your focus you can find plush material such as a backrest or a pillow to make sitting at your desk for a long time more comfortable. Furthermore, outlets may not always be available from where you’re sitting, so make a plan to use an extension cord in order to keep your technology charged and ready to go. If you do not have a desk, you can still make a workspace on your bed. Plan to purchase a hard surface or portable bed table that you can use while you work on assignments and join zoom calls.

3. Utilize a planner
When at home, it may be difficult to stay on top of school work, especially without the common in-class reminders from teachers to do your homework. Whether it’s digital or physical, a planner can help you stay organized and promote good time management. With the use of a planner, you will be able to track your assignment due dates and stay on task.

4. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Since you’re not doing assignments in class, it can be hard to communicate with your teacher and understand assignments without physical examples and instruction. However, teachers won’t know if you’re struggling with something if you don’t ask. Furthermore, you don’t have to ask in front of your peers or interrupt class to ask a question. Simply just send your teachers a message in the chat section on zoom or stay after on the zoom call. They are here to support you and they want you to ask questions. If you need some one-on-one time let them know. Don’t risk your grades over not understanding the material.

5. Review your notes daily
While on zoom, it can be hard to maintain focus. Making it easier to miss stuff, especially with the common distractions at home cue dog barking. That’s why you should review your notes and or study material either after every class or after the entire school day. That way the lesson will stay fresh in your mind and you can make note of anything you didn’t understand.