Across the country, students of all ages are attending school online for the first time. As the coronavirus pandemic has closed school districts for the unforeseeable future, teachers and students are working together to acclimate to the new world of virtual learning.  

For instructors, students, and parents, this has presented many different obstacles; however, the transition from in-person to online takes time. If this is your first experience with distance learning and you’re unsure of how to structure your days for success, as a student, you’ll want to be active early on and ensure you’re adopting good habits to achieve online learning. Here we’ve provided some of the best practices for high school students that’ll guarantee academic success.  

Attendance Matters 

First and foremost, we must express the importance of attendance. Whether you’re attending online school only or participating in blended learning, your level of participation, and attendance during virtual learning days makes a significant impact on your grades, ultimately affecting your GPA and class rank. In turn, these factors will play a massive role in the college admissions process, as well as scholarship opportunities. Many scholarships provided by the government, universities, and even private institutions rely on your grades. Students are more likely to succeed in academics when they attend school consistently.   

Establish a Routine 

Although school has gone an online learning format, it’s imperative that you treat school days just as you would if you were attending school as usual. Learning at home and online becomes less challenging with schedules and routines that work to meet your class expectations and due dates. Schedules also provide structure, safety, and a sense of familiarity, which can decrease stress and give a sense of comfort. Here are some helpful ways to structure your days effectively:   

  • Wake up, get dressed, and have a healthy breakfast at the regular time.   
  • Prepare the night before and make note of all synchronous classes to ensure that you log in on time. 
  • Set timers/alarms to ensure that you’re on time to live sessions.  
  • Determine all the schoolwork you need to do the following day. 
  • Establish regular sleep routines during the week.    

Attending Online Classes 

Amid the unexpected circumstances, there are still many advantages to virtual learning. Online classes allow you to learn wherever and however works best for you; however, they can also present unique challenges if you’re not prepared.  

Online learning is independent learning. While you’ll likely interact with classmates, be in group projects, and have other opportunities to collaborate– it’s up to you to make sure you stay on track with course requirements each week. You must take the initiative and treat your online classes the same way you would a face-to-face class. Below are some helpful ways to prepare and make the most out of your online learning experience: 

  • When attending an online class, be sure you’re on time and ready to learn.  
  • Work in a quiet room with minimal background noise and distractions. 
  • Connect a webcam to your computer so you can share your camera if needed. 
  • Use a good microphone. A noise-canceling headset is recommended. 
  • Whenever you’re not talking, keep your microphone muted so as not to add background noise. 
  • Participate and engage when appropriate. 
  • If your teacher takes attendance online, be sure to mark yourself as present.  
  • Turn in assignments on time. 

Learning virtually may present challenges that are not typical of the traditional classroom. Online learners must know that learning does require independence, but you are not alone. If you have trouble understanding a concept or need additional help, talk to your teacher. Because of newer technology, teachers have more options to connect and better collaborate with students than ever before. Communication apps like ClassDojo or Google Classroom are available and help to stay in communication with your teachers to ensure that you are making the best grades possible. Following the advice above will also help you be successful even in the most chaotic of times. 

Educate Midland is here to support and guide you while providing the most up to date resources we can; for more on how to be a successful online learner, explore our related blog: 5 Study Tips for Remote Learning This Fall.