How to prepare for online school

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Photo courtesy Karen Potts

Junior Karen Potts works on assignments during online school in the 2020-2021 school year.

We are all familiar with online school by now. School during a pandemic introduced students to this massive change in our education. Although this year students have gotten comfortable with being back in person, reminders and advice could be helpful to prepare in the possible case of returning to virtual school.

Having a comfortable, neat and organized set work place for attending virtual classes and completing assignments is important. A desk in your room, a section of a dining room or kitchen table, or an office space can work as a designated work area so that you aren’t disturbed. Having this space to do school is important so that when you are done, your whole house is not cluttered with various assignments and you can take a real break. “I still use folders and notebooks at home to stay organized,” junior Shelby Parsons said.

It’s really helpful to keep your computer charged overnight and during the day when you can because if you have a dead computer for school, you can be marked absent and miss some assignments for the class.”

— Shelby Parsons

A necessity to have while in virtual school is a school-issued Chromebook or personal computer with access to a camera, microphone and adequate WiFi. This computer should also have access to Zoom. On your computer, a helpful tip to be on Zoom and see your assignment at the same time is to split your screen. “It’s really helpful to keep your computer charged overnight and during the day when you can because if you have a dead computer for school, you can be marked absent and miss some assignments for the class,” Parsons said.

Also, having an agenda book or online planner is helpful while at home. It is easy to get too comfortable so having this will make sure you stay on top of your work. Additionally, a good idea is to have all your folders in the same place so you know where everything is. For households with multiple students attending online school, headphones can be helpful to stay focused on your own classes. “Having a calculator available at home during online school is really helpful when you need it and can’t use the school’s,” junior Lauren Povich said.

While stuck at home during school, where it is hard to see people because of the rising case numbers, it can get repetitive and boring. It is important to have hobbies or ways to escape during the day. This could include going for a walk, exercising, reading a book or finding a new show or movie to watch in your free time. “I went running at lunch time during online school to keep active and use the outdoors as a positive contributor for my mental health,” Povich said.

Having people to be in contact with can be beneficial while at home. This could be for help on homework or just to have a conversation when there is not much else to do. Also, since there is less opportunity when online, communicating with your teachers when you can is important. “I texted and facetimed my friends a lot during online school,” junior Karen Potts said.