Working independently

You will also be learning independently, either inside or outside of lesson time. When you are learning this way, schools may refer to it as asynchronous learning. This is perhaps the easiest aspect of remote learning to cope with. I suspect that at sometime in the past you've worked independently! It does pay to remember these simple tips:

Stay organised

Source: Rothermel, Eric. Unsplash, 2015.

Keeping a list of what work you need to do, and when it is due, is vital. That's why student planners have been around for so long! Even before remote schooling many deadlines were being placed by your teachers on Google Classroom, ManageBac, Canvas, or other platforms - but you need to go one step further and actually work out when you will complete the work!

  • A low-tech solution is to write what needs to be done onto a whiteboard, piece of paper, or book e.g. 'Monday - finish Biology assignment', 'Tuesday - complete French homework and write up latest CAS reflections'.

  • A more high-tech approach would be to use Google Calendar, Google Keep, or something similar in the same way. The advantage of using these tools is that you can set automated reminders.

Don't think there is anything wrong with using a piece of paper from time to time!

Divide up your workload

As you get older, the work you do becomes more complex. You may have coursework, or essays to write, or a project to complete. These are likely to take some time to finish, so make sure that you break up your work into manageable chunks. There are two things you need to consider. Firstly, think about a suitable point in your work to pause. It might be when you have completed a section of your project, or written one side of the debate for your essay. Secondly, estimate how much time it will take you to meet that mini-target. If it will take less than an hour of work then that's fine, but any longer and maybe it will be too much work to reach that point without a break. Using these two factors as a guide, try and 'map out' your work for the study session/evening/weekend.

Don't be overly rigid with your work periods. If you plan on working for 40 minutes, but end up working for 50 minutes, this is preferable to stopping half way through a paragraph because you have reached 40 minutes of work.

That said, you shouldn't be working non-stop for hours, and this is where mapping out your work is so important.

Finally, make sure you get some breaks between work! Not only is this good for your wellbeing, you should find that your productivity increases. The ratio below might work for you; then again, I'd see nothing wrong with 40 minutes of hard work followed by a 40 minute break.

Communicate with your teachers 💻

Finally, don't feel that when the lesson finishes, your opportunity to communicate with your teacher has ended too. You will need extra support at times, and you will find your teachers are very happy to provide you with guidance. Use the technology tools at your disposal, and communicate with your teacher!

If you are struggling to meet a deadline, tell your teacher before the deadline, and not after.

Don't go over the top asking for help. Teachers are not going to do the work for you; nor will they thank you for a list of questions that you could answer yourself if you used a little common sense.

In fact, communication is so vital that I've included a page dedicated to it, later on in this guide.