There Are Many Things Students Can Do To Create A Better Overall Experience Of Online High School Classes
By Kate Encinas, Stride Student Advisor
We have all been there, especially when we were in the beginnings of the pandemic. We’ve all experienced being confused on taking notes during live classes, or just confused about how to manage time and productivity for online classes. Whether you’re new to online high school or not, you're probably wondering how to get the most out of it… and use your productive side to make the experience even better.
So, what should you do? In this blog, I will try to help you, in a step-by step manner, to turn your online classes into a terrific success, and hopefully avoid any nightmare scenarios along the way.
The first step I recommend, to get the most out of your online high school classes, is to get organized. You will want to learn how to be organized, in general, to manage your time efficiently and to have a clean workspace. As we’re all different, and have different or preferred styles/techniques, using a calendar blocking system of some sort is usually the first obvious step to getting organized. In fact, calendar blocking is a fantastic way of assigning a task into your schedule, and of assuring that you will likely complete the task. It is an active time management technique to aid you to get things done.
When considering the practice of calendar blocking, you can use Google calendar or any calendar time blocking app that you personally prefer. You can even use a wall calendar or physical (paper) day planner. You can create line-ups, with the technique of calendar blocking, that are used as daily sections. You select a period of time on your calendar for a task and estimate the amount of time you will need, then you block it out on that given day for the allotted amount of time. The technique is exactly like making an appointment, and because it is on your calendar with time set aside, you are most likely to complete the task.
You can create further organizations and “sections” in calendar blocking, as you strive to get better organized, as a high school student. You can color code tasks on your calendar and assign meanings to each color, such as: personal, schoolwork, family, extra classes, and routines. Perhaps routines are denoted by the color red and personal tasks are given the color green. You can select any color matching combination that you personally like. By doing this, you can now try to manage your calendar and your time in larger segments, such as planning out an entire week or month.
The second step that I recommend, to get better organized as an online high school student, is creating a productive personal space. You’ll want to figure out how to create a personal space that is comfortable, clean, and that also has good barriers to prevent distractions. This is one of the most important parts of getting the most out of your online school experience, because it can create better focus when you are working on your tasks and assignments. If your personal space is clean, then you’ll be more inclined to be productive. It's also very important to keep in mind that once you finish your classes and any additional work, you should definitely leave your study area, to get your mind ready for the next class and associated assignments. Make time for yourself outside of class, too, by making an effort to leave the area.
The third step that I recommend, to get better organized as an online high school student, is learning and executing effective note taking. There are so many ways to take notes! You can choose to take notes digitally or make use of handwritten notes; they are both effective. There are many apps in which you can take notes. You can use Google docs, Word, IOS notes, or Notion. Personally, I believe these are all great note taking apps because they can all sync into your account, as long as you're signed into your browser. You can organize your notes further by creating a table of contents, instead of stacking them into separate documents. And, another way to organize your notes is by using different fonts, along with headings and bullet points. You can also highlight important things or things you just want to remember. You can also add an exclamation mark (!) to a specific word or section of you notes, for important reminders, or for some sort or warning.
The fourth step is a bit more of an attitude to keep in mind, as well as a daily practice, and that is to remember that your grades are very important when you enter into high school. This is especially true if you want to do something with your future career that will require college. You have to be able to discipline yourself to consistently focus on your classes and any additional work. One method almost every student knows is “split screen.” You can use split screen to work on something and look at a reference article, or anything else you need, at the same time, so that you won’t have to keep going back and forth between two or more tabs. You will also want to get into the habit of preparing for your classes and assignments beforehand and devoting extra time to your work, as needed. Lastly, you can login early to your online high school classes, to get better organized. Even though this is an online school, and you can work around almost everything in an online environment, it is super important to just attend your classes whether they have it recorded or not. It's important to be there and to ask questions. It is also important to share your ideas afterwards, too. This will definitely help you get the most out of your online high school experience.
After helping you step by step, I also would love to share some Chrome extensions that I feel would also help with your classes, as well:
· Forest (used for time tracking)
· Notion (for note taking)
· Momentum (quick access to links and more)
· Grammarly (correct grammar is very important)
· Dashline (for passwords)
I really hope this helps! And, hopefully you get more productive by trying these steps and are able to get the most out of your high school classes!
To read more about how online schooling helps students grow, be sure to check out Virtual School Motivates Teen To Become More Responsible.
And, you can read another terrific blog post by one of our Stride Student Advisors about how to curb procrastination, here!
Stride also has an article to help students new to online high school, so make sure you read 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep's Student Advisory Council, make sure to visit https://www.k12.com/stride-career-prep/about/student-advisory-council.html
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