As more and more schools announce plans for the upcoming school year it’s evident that most will have some sort of e Learning, whether it be a hybrid method or totally online. If you were a student or a teacher this past school year you probably got a taste of e Learning for the first time. Being married to a teacher, I have seen how hectic it can be from their standpoint as well as heard the complaints from students and parents as well. In this blog I want to talk about how students can be prepared and improve their e Learning experience. Next week we will be doing a video to tackle the teacher side of the e Learning and hopefully provide some tips or advice on how to make this transition easier on everyone.
Keeping with the tradition of our Tech Tuesdays I want to begin with how tech can help make your life easier through the process of e Learning.
Go Wired. Almost all of our technology from phones to tablets, even laptops have less wires than ever. However, for eLearning you want to ensure you have a stable internet connection. To receive the most out of your internet you will need to be plugged into an Ethernet cable. This will ensure that your connection is much more stable than using Wi-Fi where it is possible for the strength to vary and to completely lose connection at times. If you are using a tablet or do not have an Ethernet connection available there are steps that can be taken to improve your wireless connection. To ensure that your wireless connection is as strong as possible you will need to locate your modem. Being in a close proximity and having less walls or floors between you and the modem will ensure that your device is receiving the best connection possible.
Do A Test Run. Test out all of your equipment prior to your first lesson. This will allow you to fix any issues that you may run into and not miss anything during the lesson. Make sure your device is connected to the internet. If you will be using a webcam for any of the lessons make sure your camera and microphone are working prior to jumping into your first call. If you will be expected to print any documents off this is a good time to test your printer and make sure it is loaded with ink, toner and paper so when the times comes it will be available to print.
Screenshotting material. During a lesson there may be a file or notes that you would like to save to have for a later date. To save some time, computers have the ability to screenshot or clip part of the screen and save it as a picture. On PC devices there is a tool called the “Snipping Tool” this can be found by searching in your search bar at the lower left side of your screen. This tool allows you pick a section of your screen and it will take what is on the screen and allow you to save it. If you are using a mac device you will need to hold these 3 keys down together, Shift, Command and 3. This will save a picture of the entire screen to your desktop.
Let’s shift away from the tech for a moment and take a look at how you can improve the eLearning experience for yourself. As someone who has worked remotely there is definitely a learning curve and I’m hoping I can pass some of my experience on to you to help with the transition.
Get Out of Bed. It is very easy to roll over, grab a laptop and stay in bed while scrolling through your assignments or listening to a lecture, do not do this. Get out of bed, take a shower, get ready and change out of your pajamas. Getting your body as well as your brain moving in the morning and not staying in bed will help you wake up and be more focused when you are dressed and ready for the day.
Designate a Study Space. Find a quiet spot where you are able to focus on your assignments and not in front of the tv where you can be distracted or playing with your pet. Getting into a routine will help associate that study space with school work and allow you to focus on that and ignore any outside distractions.
Ask for Help. During eLearning there will be times where you are working on assignments on your own time without the teacher present. Do not be afraid to send them a message and ask for help. Similar to a classroom setting, there is a high chance you are not the only one with this question and asking will not only get you the answers you need, it may also help other students by bringing this question to the attention of the teacher. If no one asks anything, then the teacher assumes everyone understands and will not know where students need help.
Take Breaks. As opposed to a classroom setting you have the ability to take breaks while working online. Do not burn yourself out staring at a screen for 8 hours a day. If there is a period where there is no classwork going on take a break, grab a snack and decompress for 5-10 minutes before jumping back in. Being able to balance your breaks with work is the hardest part of working/learning from home. Finding a balance that works for you is key and can greatly improve your experience.
My hope is that some of these tips can take away some of the headache that will inevitably come with a change as big as eLearning. Next week I will focus more on teachers and how they can make this experience easier for themselves as well.
If you have problems with your devices Genius can help. Go into your nearest location and our Genius Techs can help you out with anything from phones and tablets to lap tops and desktops.