How To Make The Most Out Of Remote Learning

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Renee Abbott, Editor in Chief

Students across the globe are adjusting to the new reality of online learning, and the challenges that come with it. Walpole High School opted for a hybrid model where students attend school in person two days a week and are at home learning remotely for three days.

Some advantages for remote learning include more freedom for students, as they can wear whatever they want, eat in their own home and sleep later; however, many challenges are posed as well. One challenge students face in an environment full of distractions is motivation. 

Because there is no teacher physically present and students are able to sign off from their classes after being assigned work, there is no real incentive to complete the work during the class period, which leads to school work piling up. One strategy to stay motivated is to keep a checklist of assignments so that the workload is more manageable to keep up with. Check lists also give students the instant satisfaction of having one less assignment to do, which may relieve stress. 

Motivation can also be increased by ensuring that students are able to unwind after an assignment is complete. Because all schoolwork is essentially homework, and some teachers assign additional homework to complete, a student’s day may feel completely devoted to work. In order to avoid exhaustion and create a healthy school-life balance, students should take time for self care. One example of that is to use the time allotted for lunch to relax and eat rather than continuing to work. 

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Relating to unwinding, getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential to performing well academically. While it may be tempting to stay up late knowing that it is possible to sleep later because there is no need to carve out time for transportation, falling asleep on the early side will allow students to be more alert and able to focus on online learning. Limiting screen time right before you fall asleep is a good way to ensure quality rest. 

In order to maximize productivity during class periods, it is important to minimize distraction. Having an organized and comfortable workspace increases focus, so while studying in your bed may be comfortable, it is more effective to study at a desk or other workspace separate from where you relax. Additionally, putting your phone in a separate room will minimize distraction from notifications, and limit your social media usage. Music is also an effective tool to increase focus, and many major music streaming platforms such as Apple Music or Spotify have premade playlists tailored for concentration. 

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Exercise is also effective in improving focus. By maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, your mind is able to function productively and you will be able to get more work done. In addition to exercising, improving posture by limiting time sitting also improves focus. Making a standing desk will allow you to improve your posture and focus. According to healthline.com, standing desks can reduce back pain, boost mood, lower blood sugar levels, and possibly even boost productivity. One way to make a faux standing desk is setting your computer on a counter top or bureau and elevating it by stacking books underneath it. Devices that elevate your laptop and workspace can also be bought for under $100, while a real standing desk can cost upwards of $250.

 

Students who are experiencing headaches due to continued amount of time spent in front of a screen should also consider investing in blue light glasses. These glasses block short waves of blue light emitted by screens, which, according to manufacturers, can reduce eye strain and help lead to better sleep by increasing melatonin secretion. According to Medicalnewstoday.com, there have been no confirmed studies that blue light glasses are beneficial, yet many people have reported less eye strain and decreased headaches. Blue light glasses are available on Amazon.com from as little as $16. 

While remote learning may come with its struggles, there are ways to improve the experience and get the most out of the hybrid situation.