Distance Learning: Tips for Staying Connected During Online Learning

After an extended break spent snoozing alarms and maintaining social distance, starting online classes could be a bit of a shock to say the least. This Monday morning, ACP-Erie’s students started easing into distance learning. They received Google Classroom notifications from all six classes listing assignments for the week, ranging from “getting-to-know-you” activities to review and introduction of new content.¬†While distance learning is quite an adjustment, let’s take a look at some tips that could make the shift a little bit easier:

1.) Establish a routine.

Staying on track may be more difficult at home, especially for students who face distracting siblings, challenges with accessing the internet, or the allure of binge-watching another Netflix show. Thus, setting a schedule with set times for schoolwork and times for relaxation will help you manage your time and get your assignments done. Decide whether you would prefer to get all of your school work done for the day in the morning, afternoon, or evening, and stick to the plan! Remember to schedule in breaks of at least five minutes about every hour so that you remain alert and focused throughout the day.

2.) Keep in touch with teachers and counselors.

Your teachers might be miles away, but they are still there to help! If you are confused about an aspect of an assignment, feel worried about preparing for AP testing, or want to ask any questions about content, don’t be afraid to contact your teacher. We may not be able to have in-person contact right now, but teachers and counselors are still available to assist you.

3.) Keep an organized work area.

Staying organized is key to success! Picture from Shutterstock.com

Accomplishing your work for the day will become way easier if you have an organization system! After all, focusing is way more difficult if you have papers scattered across the table and folders all over the place with assignments from different classes all mixed together. If you can’t even locate your assignments, how will you be able to complete them? Perhaps choose a specific area of the house to complete school work, and be sure that the space is relatively organized. Simply keeping paperwork from specific classes in designated areas and cleaning up the work area will make a positive impact on your productivity.

4.) Discover motivation.

Staying motivated in online school can be a challenge. Think about your long-term goals and where you hope to be several years in the future. Then, consider what you should do right now to get there. If you would like to attend a specific college and earn scholarships, getting good grades and improving your learning methods can help you get there. For AP classes, the AP test at the end of the year holds you accountable for your learning now. Another motivator is simply learning for the sake of learning; learning improves your critical thinking and academic abilities later on in life.

5.) Stay updated with College Board AP exam changes.

With switches to distance learning occurring across the world, College Board has decided to change the AP testing format to help make the tests more accessible to everyone. This year, most AP tests will be taken online at home in the format of 45-minute-long tests. College Board is also offering free AP review lessons to students each week day through YouTube. Here’s a link to College Board’s YouTube account where you can access these lessons: https://www.youtube.com/user/advancedplacement/videos. College Board will be providing updates at this webpage regarding the specific details of each test by this Friday, April 3rd.

Picture from College Board’s website
Here’s the schedule for College Board’s online AP review sessions each week day.

Online learning may be a big adjustment, but we’ll get through it.With so much going on, hopefully some of these tips will help you stay on track for the rest of the school year.