By Natalie Koch
With school switched to being on an all virtual schedule, it’s hard to keep track of everything that you’re supposed to be paying attention to. Procrastination and short attention spans can take many forms when learning virtually, so it’s important to try and overcome these problems when possible.
Virtual school makes it harder for a lot of students to find themselves staying connected to the lesson of the assignments that go along with it. Because of this, students can find themselves procrastinating on certain assignments until the last minute. While these students are usually able to still finish everything in time, it’s not efficient or beneficial to their mental health. A good tip for this is to make sure to write down everything in your planner as it gets assigned. This way, you’re able to plan in advance what assignments you can start on or complete prior to the day before it’s due. This doesn’t just go for assignments, but also for meetings. It’s sometimes hard to remember all the places you’re required to be, so keeping a log of all of those dates and times would prove to be very helpful. You’ll feel more confident and on top of your school work and leaning material if you try to adopt this good habit.
Another way to stay connected virtually is to participate in class as often as possible. The digital learning is hard on everyone, but especially the teachers. When giving a lesson, it’s so helpful to teachers to know that their students are understanding the material that is being presented to them. There are multiple ways to demonstrate this understanding; typing in the chat or raising your virtual hand being a few. Another helpful contribution would be to leave your camera on throughout class. While this sometimes may be uncomfortable, it adds an extra layer of reassurance to teachers that their students are all still there and listening to what they say. A thumbs up or a nod from the classroom can go a long way, and keeps you connected much more than leaving your camera off.
It’s very easy to find lots of things to be distracted by throughout the day, and it would be most beneficial to remove as many of these distractions as possible. Clear whatever workspace you use of anything that could potentially grab your attention while in class. For example; books, pens, or phones. You won’t even be tempted to feel distracted when your workspace is clear, so the ticket to a clear head is a clear workspace.
However, the most important way to stay connected is to get some rest and take some breaks. Sitting in front of a screen for over 4 hours a day is tiring, and that’s just how long we’re in school. Get up and stretch in between classes, take a walk around the house, and drink some water. In order to stay connected better, it’s of the utmost importance to remember to give your brain some time to rest. Only then will you be able to truly connect to your class and the discussions that happen.