With distractions all around, working from home requires a different mindset. Here's some handy hints and tips to keep you on track:
1. Treat every day at home in the same way as if you were at school. Get a good night’s sleep and complete your typical morning routine. Check your school timetable and structure your day with a school schedule in mind.
2. Ensure you have a quiet space that promotes concentration and minimises distraction. Don’t sit on your bed or a couch - you don’t want to be too relaxed! Be seated in a comfortable chair at a desk or table.
3. Make sure your space is free of clutter and that you have all of the resources you need to complete your lessons.
4. Prepare your digital workstation before starting. Make sure everything is plugged in and charged – problems with technology are good excuses to procrastinate.
5. Practice proper online etiquette if you are using collaborative tools such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. Respond to teacher requests to mute/activate microphones and turn on/off webcams. Using headphones is preferred due to sound isolation.
6. Don’t operate multiple devices and open numerous tabs. These are just further distractions.
7. Make sure you regularly check your school email and Firefly as your teacher(s) will often send through new tasks, lesson materials and resources.
8. Make sure you understand what is required of you before the next lesson. Do you need to submit any work? Through what channels do you need to submit work?
9. Commit to each lesson in the same fashion as school. Stay the entire 55 minutes and move to the next lesson promptly. Time management is an important skill to master – especially in an online environment.
10. Take breaks! Sitting wide-eyed in front of a computer screen all day is not ideal. Make sure you get some exercise – even if it is just a walk around the block. This will help to refocus you for the next part of your day.
11. Finally, ensure you use your social support system so that you do not feel isolated. Connect with your classmates when you are not in lessons and check-in with teachers if you have any worries or comments.
If you can effectively follow these tips, your online learning experience will be more enjoyable and productive. Soon enough, you will be back in the classroom!