Get yourself organised!

Life seemed so straightforward when you were at school. You followed the crowd to the correct room for your lesson; the bell told you when to come and go; and you simply had to look for the correct exercise book in your bag. With remote learning, you need to do a little bit more to be organised. These three tips will hopefully get you off to a good start!

Keep your online files organised

Think about it... you would normally have an exercise book for each subject. This makes sense, because you can keep your mathematics notes separate to your geography ones, for instance. You need to apply the same principle to the way to organise your digital work. Whether you're using Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or something else, make sure you have a folder for each subject and always put your work, notes, 'handouts' - in fact everything you want to keep for that subject - in the correct folder.

Use simple filenames for all your documents. For instance, put them in the format 'SUBJECTNAME_UNIT_TYPEOFDOCUMENT' to help you work out what they are. Plus, use numbers at the start of the filename to ensure they all get sequenced in your folder as you want it. For example, '1. HISTORY_SOUTHAFRICA_NOTES'.

Use bookmarks and bookmark folders

I wouldn't be able to cope with remote teaching without bookmarks. If you don't know what a bookmark is, the best way to describe them is that they are a way of storing regularly-used website addresses in your web browser, so you can visit them again and again at the click of a button. Each internet browser has slightly different bookmark systems but they essentially do the same thing. The video tutorial below is for Google Chrome. If you use a different browser, you will be able to find lots of similar guides on YouTube.

The folders system is great and I have several folders with multiple bookmarks in them. You should do the same. Have a folder with all of the links to your video lessons (e.g. Meet or Zoom), using a simple system such as 'DAY_PERIOD_SUBJECT' and then putting all the lessons into the correct order. Another folder can contain links to your various subject folders (as explained in the previous section).

Finally, it helps to have one master document that keeps you organised and makes your life easier. For students, there's nothing better than a timetable. You can, if you wish, put your timetable into Google Calendar, Outlook or whatever calendar function your school uses. This five minute video provides a great overview of how it can help.

Even if you are doing the above, I still think it helps to have a timetable with your daily classes mapped out. When I give general advice to my students, I always say to keep the timetable as simple as possible. I give them a template and your school may have one of their own too. For example, you can colour code the periods based on what subject it is and clearly write down the teacher's name and room number. For remote learning, none of this advice changes other than you should replace the room number with a hyperlink to the correct video call. I also recommend you put the link to the correct subject folder into the timetable.