Virtual Learning Life Hacks

By IYWP Interns Kelsey Borbeck & Kelsey Foster

With everything moving online, we’re feeling the extra weight on our shoulders this fall 2020. While we understand everyone’s situations are different, we still want to provide everyone with some tips and tricks to help reduce the heightened levels of stress you might be feeling. Here are our favorite virtual learning life hacks that might help you through this school year!

For Students (K-12)

● Keep a Consistent Schedule:

○ Virtual learning is uncomfortable for all of us and maintaining some stability and consistency, especially around your assignments, is essential.

Always Keep Extra Paper and Pens Handy:
○ Zoom classes can be a lot easier when you’re always prepared!

● Keep Your Microphone on Mute:
○ When the computer is picking up on the noises happening around you, it can be distracting for your classmates and your teacher. By keeping the microphone on mute, your teacher can stay on track with the lesson.

● Get a White Board Calendar:
○ Writing your assignments and their due dates on the board can lower your chances of forgetting to turn in your homework and can help you plan in advance for future projects.

● Make Sure to Take Breaks!
○ It is recommended to work or study for 45 minute periods, and then take 15 minute breaks in between!

● Turn Off Your Phone:
○ Having class at home means that there’s now so many more distractions, and that it’s much easier to get away with! Turn your phone on silent, or put it away, to avoid the lure of social media.

● Make a Homework To-Do List:
○ It can be really easy to fall behind, but having a to-do list can help you stay on top of your workload. Make sure to prioritize and put the assignments due the soonest at the top!

For Teachers:

● Use a Picture of Your Old Classroom for Your Zoom Background:

○ Learning on Zoom is unfamiliar for all of us but keeping your old classroom as your background can help maintain some sense of normalcy for your students.

● Make a DIY Document Camera:

  1. Join Zoom meeting on phone

 2. Make your phone’s screen the host

 3. Stack approximately 4 cans (or however high you want), placing yourphone between the first and second

 4. Share screen with students

●  Get a Computer Stand for Your Desk:
○ Raising your computer up higher helps to straighten your spine, easingback pain and aches!

For Parents/Guardians:

● Designate a Specific Work Zone:

○ Recreating the classroom environment can help students feel more comfortable with at-home virtual learning as they enter this new school year. Separating the two can also help with limiting distractions and increasing work quality.

● Use an Incentive Sticker Chart:
○ Having a source of external motivation can help your student keep up with their work, especially when their internal motivation is lacking.

● If You Have a Younger Student(s), Do Some Arts and Crafts to Hang Around the Workspace.

○  Print off a map and have your student(s) color it in, they can even write the names of the continents on there as well.

○  (Adult Supervision Recommended) Print out the alphabet, color in each letter, cut small holes in the top and run string through each letter, tie a small knot on each side of the letter so they stay in place, tape each end of the string on your wall and you have an alphabet banner.

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