Saint Joe’s Remote Learning Obstacles

Saint Joes Remote Learning Obstacles

Quinn Willerton

With the introduction of online classes for many high school students, many everyday things can become distractions during virtual class. In order for students to stay more engaged with this current state of school, many different aspects must come into consideration. 

To begin, create a comfortable work space. It may be tempting to have a rigorously organized and neat place, but if you work better in a messy environment, that will still work. It’s important to understand what you are comfortable with, not what the “norm” is. The best advice I could give here is to just figure it out with time. You may go to one class at a desk and hate it, but you also might go to another class in bed and fall asleep. It might take time to figure out what works best for you, and that’s completely fine. 

Secondly, try to remove unnecessary distractions, such as phones or certain applications. Again, it may be tempting to use your phone during class, especially if your camera is off. But simply putting it into a different room, turning it completely off, or just putting it out of sight is enough to focus easier. It is even harder to not get distracted by the device you are in the call with, your computer. To combat these distractions, try to open the virtual class in a different window. If you can’t do that, simply just try to eliminate all other distractions by closing the most distracting tabs, like Google or Canvas. Eliminating these distractions can make staying engaged in online classes much easier. 

Next, remember that to succeed in classes you have to focus. This may seem very self-explanatory, but it is hard to realize that virtual class not only poses the threat of being easily distracted, but also that class itself is distracting. All the people’s cameras and other virtual distractions can make classes very awkward, which can mess up someone’s focus. To get through that, you can just try to focus only on the teacher or pin the teacher. You could also just try to focus on something that is not distracting, or something that will help you understand the lesson (i.e. the notes). Also remember that keeping that same in-person engagement and focus can go a long way.

Penultimately, try to take breaks when doing class work. High school can be extremely stressful with all the homework and the eventual finals, but taking breaks are good for your mind and your quality of work. Personally, taking breaks every hour to two hours works really well for me. Remember that high school is not all work. So take that break, go to that game, or talk to those friends (virtually of course). 

Finally, try to have a work plan or schedule for the rest of your day. This can relate to the last one, as you can put breaks into your schedule. Whether you make this plan the night before your classes or right after your classes are over is up to you. When planning a schedule, try to incorporate multiple categories. For every person, these categories might be different, so just take this as rough inspiration. If you really enjoy playing video games, staying a class or two ahead on work, and still talking to your friends, you could say work in hour blocks. After these hour blocks, you could have an hour to two hour long break, where you can talk to friends, play video games, or even work more. Planning out your day can benefit you in the long run.

To conclude, virtual classes can pose a lot of problems. Remember that engagement and focus is not just achieved by doing nothing. You have to put the effort in to reap the benefits. To better lead you to focus, try to take breaks, plan out your day, and even just remove some of the biggest distractions from your workplace.