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Adapting to Online Learning

Author: Hailee S.

Back in March, students everywhere were thrown into online learning, and it was undoubtedly a big change. Most of us had no idea how to make the transition from in-person learning to remote learning within just a few days. Now, many students are expected to learn via this method either full-time or combined with some in-person learning for the foreseeable future. If you’re a student who has to do this, you might be wondering: how do I adapt to online learning?


The most important thing you have to do is make yourself aware of how online learning is going to work. Communicate with your teachers and professors and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are a few things that should be clear to you:

  • What platform(s) your classes are going to be held on (zoom, google meet, schoology, etc)

  • When you have your classes

  • What materials you need with you

  • If you have to log in with your class or complete an assignment on your own


Now this is a lot of information to keep track of, especially if you have a variety of classes throughout the day. I would recommend using a planner to write down your schedule and the materials or assignments needed for each course throughout your day. Figure out which way you like taking notes the best. You can use a physical planner to write things down, or there are lots of note-taking, such as OneNote and GoodNotes 5, and calendar apps, such as Google Calendar and Notion, out there if you prefer to do it digitally. Test them out and find what works for you personally!


Another way you can better transition to online learning is to make a comfortable workspace for yourself. Find a space in your home that is quiet with minimal distractions. Remember that you’ll likely need to have your laptop, textbooks, notebooks, etc. easily available to you, so make sure you have room for all your materials. It may not be realistic for everyone to find a quiet area at home, so if this applies to you, consider what else you can do. Maybe you can go to your library, or a quiet local coffee shop. Adapting to online learning will be much easier if you have your own space where you feel focused and motivated.


Manage your time wisely. This strategy is something you should always use, even when going to school in person, but it becomes even more important when it comes to online learning. If a teacher tells you to complete an assignment on your own rather than attending an online class, it may be even more tempting to leave it for later just because you don’t have to be in the class at a specific time. Please block out times in your schedule where you can get homework done even if there’s not an online class going on at that time!! Your grades and future self will thank you later.


Make sure you pay attention to deadlines! You may have to submit something online even when you’re not in an online class. This is why a planner is extremely vital for the school year (although you do have to keep up with listing the assignments, when they’re due, and how to submit them). Consider investing in a physical planner to keep by your desk with the other books or getting a calendar app that will remind you of your deadlines.


This was a lot of information, so to sum it up: talk to your teachers or professors, establish a distraction-free workspace, manage your time, and take notes. Ultimately, staying organized is the key to being successful while learning virtually.



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