Today more and more students, teachers and tutors are participating in online education and virtual classrooms. Figuring out how to navigate this new way of learning can often be cumbersome and confusing. Having the right tools to connect, consume and create whether you're in the classroom or the living room is vital; so we've put together our list of "6 Tips for Learning & Teaching Online" to help you quickly, efficiently and effectively adapt.
1. Create a Dedicated Learning/Teaching Space Anyone who learns or teaches remotely needs a dedicated space to learn, think, video chat and create. Converting an extra bedroom, creating a space in your basement or using a corner of the living room is a great way to have a private and consistent space to learn and work from on a weekly basis.
2. Maintain Regular Hours One of the benefits of learning or teaching remotely is flexibility, and that flexibility allows you to adapt or extend your day to accommodate someone else's personal matters. Just like creating a dedicated desk space to separate your school and personal life, creating and sticking to a dedicated school schedule will also ensure your aren't merging and blurring the line between your personal life and teaching/school life.
3. Have the Proper Tools Often times learning or teaching from home means using a laptop or tablet. For a lot of people, a smaller screen or trackpad may not be sufficient, so be sure to ask for the tools you need to be as efficient and effective as you can while learning or teaching remotely. This may mean an External Display, Keyboard or Mouse or Communication Headset. Whatever is required in a physical learning environment to connect with your students or to teach; be sure to have those same tools available when you are at home.
4. Communication is Key Every student and teacher will need to stay in constant communication with one another. You'll no longer be able to interact between classes or walk up to a desk and ask a question. Making sure you have the right software to participate in online courses, access and open attachments, e-mail, messaging and video chat is vital. It's also important for every student and teacher to have a reliable Communication Headset or pair of Headphones with a Microphone so everyone can connect and communicate clearly and efficiently.
5. Socialize With Friends Being disconnected from your friends can be difficult. A major part of going to school is not only teacher/student interaction, but interacting with your friends. Make sure you're messaging and video chatting with your friends, asking how their day is, helping each other, sharing a fun piece of content and otherwise keeping a social relationship with them will go a long way until you see each other in the classroom again.
7. Get Up and Move Around It’s well known that being physically active is good for your mental and physical wellbeing. It can be easy to get lost in your work, and remembering to do something as simple as standing up, and moving around can be harder than you think. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to stand once an hour. Many smartwatches and fitness trackers have built in stand reminders, so take advantage of those whenever possible.
8. Hydrate Hydration is key in staying mentally and physically healthy. For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. Sources of water also include foods, such fruits and vegetables which contain a high percentage of water. Proper hydration increase in energy and improved mental productivity, so make sure that not only are you taking breaks and moving around, but getting a drink while you're up too.
9. End Your Day With a Routine When learning and teaching from a physical location, often times your day ends with putting your things in your locker or cleaning up the classroom, getting on the bus or in your car and heading home. When learning and teaching from home, it can be difficult to form an 'end of day' routine because... well, you're already home. Create a habit that signals it's time to shut down. Shutting down your computer, going for a run, playing a video game, taking a walk, doing yoga - create a habit you can do most days that you can look forward to that signals your school and work day is over.