Sleep early and follow your bedtime.
A brand-new school year is upon us and despite the pandemic, we're all still reaching for our academic goals by going online and getting ready to answer our modules. Trust me, I know that this year will be a lot more challenging than before, but that doesn't mean we won't do our best, right? Here are some preparations that I did for my online classes which might help you too.
Get organized online and offline
Online learning is tricky not just for us students, but also for our teachers who had to make a quick transition to online teaching. My mom is a teacher, and apart from the overwhelming amount of work, she also had to find her students one by one on Facebook because it’s the easiest way to reach them.
To prepare for my own classes, I decided to optimize my social media usernames, emails, and MS Teams. I created a new email account specifically for online classes so that I can focus on my modules and classes without having to sift through tons of spam.
I also created a new channel in Teams for each of my research group projects. Then I made my study area as organized and comfy as possible because I know I’ll be spending a lot of time there. I’ve managed to organize all my modules and notes with colored pens and stickers, folders, and sticky-notes. Doing so made me realize that the more I kept my online and offline space clutter-free, the easier it became for me to focus on my new routine.
Don't be afraid to ask for help or feedback
I usually leave comments in the chat box during online classes whenever I find it difficult to understand the lesson. Oftentimes, my classmates would answer me and help me catch up.
In case I encounter technical difficulties, I also have a template for instant messages or emails to my teacher so that I can detail the parts of the lesson that I missed. Whenever I send my digital modules through email, I also ask my teacher about ways to improve so I can identify my own best practices for distance learning.
Use your time wisely
There's a huge risk of burning out under these new circumstances, what with workload breaching the boundaries of our life at home. My sister, who also had to work from home, said that it’s best to establish a routine that would allow me to manage my learning and personal time. This is why I set a timer for every module just to see how long it would take me to finish a lesson. I determined my average time per lesson and built my schedule around that. I also have "quiet hours" within my schedule. Taking a break from studying is important too because having time for self-care would ensure maximum productivity and improve focus and overall health.
Extend a helping hand
In these trying times, it's important to remind one another that a little bit of kindness can go a long way. This is why I share my notes freely with my classmates, check on my friends every once in a while, and send quick thank you notes to my teachers at the end of our virtual classes.
There are also various ways to help while learning remotely. Smart recently launched Smart University, a virtual campus designed with fun and exciting activities for students like us. As part of the kick-off, a three-part program will be streamed on Smart's Facebook page and smartuniversity2020.com.
Participating in each episode will allow us to gain points for the Smart University Leaderboard. By reaching 30,000 points, the whole class will be able to donate e-learning materials like laptops, pocket Wi-Fi units, and tablets for less fortunate students. The class topnotchers will also get special prizes. Visit the Smart University Virtual Campus at smartuniversity2020.com to learn more.