Online Learning 2: Return of the Zoom Calls

Directed by Covid – 19

Online learning has come back for my fall semester in High School, but things have changed and improvements have been made.

In early July, plans started being made for the school year, as administrators, teachers, and staff in all 16 of the district schools met to discuss the safest, most efficient path forward. The consensus generally leaned toward opening the schools, but as cases continued to rise and multiple failed re-openings struck news across the country, it was decided that school would remain online for at least the first semester of the year.

This decision came with mixed feelings. While it is certainly safer to remain at home, I couldn’t help but feel exhausted and tired of the online learning routine which we were forced to follow for so many months.

A more rigid schedule

However, significant improvements have been made to the online learning plan for this year. It has become more organized, with a proper and formalized curriculum already planned and in place. Along with this, most classes will have synchronous classes, aiding in the multiple downsides which I have stated in my previous post. (https://sa-blogs.com/2020/06/15/the-good-bad-ugly-of-asynchronous-learning/) Classes are blocked periods, forcing students into a strict schedule, similar to that of in-person schooling. For example, here is my schedule for the first week of school. (A-synchronous learning is marked in blue, while synchronous learning is marked in red)

For the most part, the school portion of my day is filled with zoom meetings and assignments which are time-sensitive. Even my lunch break is a block of thirty minutes at a designated time every day. While this may seem like a negative aspect, it helps create a non-negotiable structure in my day, which greatly aides productivity and motivation.

For attendance, students must fill out an attendance form for asynchronous classes, or simply show up to the required zoom meeting for synchronous classes.

Preparations for the start of school

A few days ago, both my brother and I went to our respective schools to pick up supplies and materials to aide with online learning. My brother’s package included a neatly organized binder in which materials for every subject were in place, along with stationery supplies such as colored pencils, crayons, and more. The school also sent home an iPad which can be used to take zoom calls along with completing online quizzes or assignments.

As for my school, I was sent a folder with readings for my history class, along with a chemistry and biology textbook. In high school, most of the assignments, quizzes, and tests were already online, so it was much easier to transition.

Tips for Going Forward

Since we are going to be moving to online learning, it is important to optimize your life for that. Here are a few tips that will help you in doing so

Find one place

Find a single room or setting where you will be completing your schoolwork, or attending online classes. This room should be quiet, comfortable, and have good wifi reception. Along with this, make sure you feel comfortable and productive in that room. You can do this by having a clock, or even adding your own personal touch to it.

Have a proper device

Since this is online schooling, it is important for you to have a working and well-paced device for you to complete your schoolwork. Make sure that you have downloaded the needed applications, and that it functions well most of the time. This can help reduce errors or lag when completing or attending lessons.

Find a proper organization system

As I mentioned before, it is important to stay organized, especially during online school. Use an app to manage your todo lists and your calendar. Make sure to update it every single day in order to stay on top of your work.

Conclusion

All in all, online schooling is the safest and more probable way forward in the near future. Make sure to properly optimize for it, and you will do fine! I will put a few links for helpful youtube videos, so go give them a watch when you can.

Online Learning Tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsWYxfVzX_U

Productivity and Motivation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgT8w30Q10M

Notetaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONG26-2mIHU

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