Online Learning Workspace Advice
This is a guest blog post from eAchieve Academy. FYI eAchieve Academy offers online classes for homeschool students in grades 6-12. Free to Wisconsin residents; affordable out of state rates. Challenging core and elective classes including AP and Honors level. Personalized instruction from certified teachers. Flexible schedule.
Traditional classrooms are filled with neatly aligned rows of desks, maybe a chalkboard or whiteboard. Some contemporary classrooms arrange students so they can face each other to facilitate discussion or place desks in pods or small groups. But what about online learners? Doing classes from home, or in another area, can involve some distractions, though these can be easily overcome with some preparation. Transitioning a K-12 student from a classroom setting to taking online classes at home can require a bit of setup, but ultimately it can revolutionize the way your student learns.
Choose an Area of the House for Learning
If possible, set aside a room for learning. If that’s not possible, you may want to block off a section of a room with a divider. Choose an area with at least one window that lets in plenty of natural light. It’s also a good idea to have easy access to a sink for easy cleanup from projects.
Select Equipment and Furnishings
The computer is the most important piece of equipment for online learning. eAchieve Academy school work can be done on any computer or mobile device that can access the Internet. Mobile devices and laptops will need to be charged, so access to an electric outlet is important. It’s a good idea to run all electronics through a surge protector. A printer may also be useful for students who like to print out assignments or pace charts, but it is not required.
A desk or table and a comfortable chair that is the appropriate size for each student are essential. A bulletin board and/or dry erase board may also be helpful for posting reminders or jotting down ideas. While not essential, some online students still like to use paper, notebooks, pens, pencils and markers for certain learning activities. These are a matter of personal preference.
Set up Stations for Subject Areas
Having several different workstations or learning areas is ideal for several reasons. It will keep children from getting bored because they’ve worked in one area or sat in one spot for too long. It can also help keep subjects and materials organized and students focused on what they are currently working on. Stations can be divided around subject matter such as language arts, math, science, and social studies. If there isn’t room to incorporate several stations, it’s important to have at least two. One area should be set aside for “neater” work such as reading, writing, and computer work. The second area can be for “messier” assignments such as science experiments or art work.
Organize and Label Supplies
Organizing and labeling everything can help students work from home efficiently. While most of the information is online, it can be useful to have printed out pages to practice certain subjects. You could organize materials by subject, alphabetically, or come up with another system that works for your individual needs. Whatever system you choose to use isn’t as important as actually having one so you always know exactly where everything is when you need it.
Organization also extends to the digital world. eAchieve students use Google Docs for word processing, spreadsheets, forms and presentations. Creating a digital folder for each subject helps students locate assignments easily and ensures that everything they work on is automatically saved and backed up in case of an unexpected system shutdown.
Keeping the learning space clean and organized will help students focus and concentrate on their studies.