Learning to eLearn

In a time where we are more connected through technology than we have ever been, eLearning is just another advancement that has been created for both students and companies. But what is eLearning?

According elearningnc.gov, to eLearning, or electronic learning, is “learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.”

eLearning can be delivered to students through the use of computers, tablets, laptops, and even mobile phones. eLearning is not limited to just school, however. It also can be utilized for training and teaching purposes.

Many of the country’s school districts plan to begin the fall semester online-only. With the current events causing many schools to switch to online learning, both parents and students may both need guidance through these new classroom experiences. To make the best of this situation, here are some tips to help you adapt to learning from home.

The environment you immerse yourself in can be one of your biggest distractions. It’s important that you feel comfortable in your space. It should be quiet and have minimal clutter.

Restricting or cutting back on your device use may be a strategy that works for those who have difficulty focusing. Extensive use of electronics such as phones and tablets can be associated with health issues, such as obesity and depression. Small amounts of daily screen time can be beneficial.

Some students may find it tasking to sit through an entire lecture. This gives you a great reason to utilize recorded lectures! Take breaks. 30 minutes into your lecture, get up, stretch, walk around. Take 5-10 minutes to refresh yourself, then sit back down to focus. Allowing time for exercise before you are expected to focus on learning might be a good idea. Exercise is one of the best stress relievers and is a natural way to prevent anxiety. It could be a great way to get in the correct headspace before a class. Consider standing during your online courses, as many people often have more success standing rather than sitting.

Creating a schedule that is the same day to day will allow a smooth transition into eLearning. Research shows that students who have higher GPAs are usually better at time management. Our lives love structure, so try to manage your time with a set schedule.

Instead of jumping right into a set schedule, you should first make small adjustments. Try to get yourself on the same schedule every day and stick to it. That means the same wake-up time and same wind-down time. Start schoolwork at the same hour each day in order to form a routine.

Each and every student is different, and it’s useful to find out what learning style best suits your needs. At the end of each week or every other week, take the time to step back and evaluate your schedule. Look at how you spent your time each day, what areas you need to dedicate more time to and where you are spending too much time. Then, decide how long each night you should be spending on your work and which nights should be dedicated to which classes. Take a look at what habits are benefiting you and which are hindering you. Adjust accordingly.

Tweaking your schedule may be necessary as the class days pass by. If you find yourself struggling with certain classes or assignments, try new ways to spend more time working on that assignment/subject. Find your “peak time” or the time when you are most productive. Then, save your most difficult assignments for that time! This will encourage productivity.

Lastly, stay social while social distancing. Interacting with others not only keeps your mind stimulated and increases overall happiness, but it will help you find the support you may need. Utilizing Zoom or Skype is a great option. Students can work together and offer classmates help with subjects they may be struggling with. Emails, class chats, and discussions are other ways to get that social interaction. These are all great methods to find support.

Although eLearning may be brand new to some and it can be very intimidating, it can provide so many benefits that traditional classrooms cannot. Creating flexible schedules and breaks, self-pacing, and finding what works for you are opportunities all associated with eLearning. With the range of benefits, it gives to students, along with accommodating students and their families to keep everyone safe during a pandemic, eLearning has been widely accepted and appreciated among parents, teachers, and students across the country and the world.

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