Online Learning Clarke Academy

Kevin Clarke, Founder, Clarke Academy. Kevin's goal is to democratize online education and enable anyone to become an online student and teacher.

So Lockdowns have been a thing of recent and a return to online learning however, this time things are looking progresive.  Many schools in the UK received outstanding feedback during their summer term online learning.  

Schools  have had the time to resolve any problems that popped up in the first lockdown with many updating systems with activities that was not available.   This makes the online learning expearience easier if students need to jump back online in the future.

Whate exactly flipped classroom? Instead of investing most of your educational time face to face engaging with your teacher and your classmates, you will now beable to complete blocks of work around your time frame – this means you can work through it at your own speed. This does depend on the systems your school is using, you may have lots of online puzzles so your teacher knows the exact areas to teach in larger detail during face to face teaching time. So the live classes will be more focussed on explaining the concepts you and your classmates might find challenging.

If you’re fortunate then school will be organised with some more curricular activities too – group workouts, choir and music practice as examples. We’re looking forward to hearing about the most out the box online grouos during lock down season!

The challenges faced by students overseas are even greater as that 8:30 am school start may be when you’re going to sleep so you and school will need to be flexible. Of course, your country may not be in lockdown and so you will be able to go outside and exercise regularly.

So what are our top tips to be an effective online learner? Make sure you create your own school room. This could be a desk – a separate room would be more suitable, use the desk set up during your school time only – this will prevent your brain work creating clutter, especially as you’re not actually going to school.

Are you sitting comfortably? Adjusting your chair or laptop so that your screen is at eye level and your arms make a comfortable L shape resting on the desk is very important for health and safety reasons. Your feet should touch the floor. Most office chairs nowadays will be set an adult standard but you can find some accesories to boot up your laptop or feet, and lift your chair height – venture around with this as it is important to have everything at the right height for your health and wellbeing. Once your learning space is ready, set up your laptop, go to the toilet or get a drink and then come back, sit down and start learning!

We can hear you? Your Headphones must be decent so you can not only hear but be heard by your teacher – and the rest of your family members doesn’t have to hear all the stuff going on in the background.

Make a routine and stick to it – even if it’s very different from your school routine. Do your best to keep the structure of your daily school routine – Rise up, wash, have breakfast if you do breakfast and dont forget to get dressed. This will help you to start the day focused and ready to get your work done.

What’s the time? If you are situated hours away from the UK, develop your own timetable and tell your teachers when you can study on an independent basis and when you can attend their online lessons. The important thing is to make sure you allocate good time for your independent study in advance of the online lessons so you are as well prepared as your friends.

What am I doing? You are not able to follow your pal into the next classroom or have conversations over lunch with the homework. Make sure you check into your school portal and contact your teachers if you’re struggling to understand what you’re supposed to be doing and when it should be done.

Remain focussed – ignore those distractions at home – If your parents are working from home and are communicating on the telephone when you’re trying to do your work, its not easy at all. through any type of problem. If your headphones have a noise cancellation capability then all the better or maybe you work better with some slight background music. Now’s the time to find the best way that works for you when studying independently before you move on to university and have to do it for a few years. Routine and structure are keys that will really help.

You have a call – no, I dont!  Remember your teachers didn’t allow telephones inside your classroom so it’s no different now, same rules apply. Research shows that UK teenagers invest an average of 7 hours a day on their phone devices! That’s a lot of ‘just checking’. Give your phone to someone else – or at least put it in a different room on silent mode – while you’re ‘in class’. Break time is good for catching up– and I guarantee those YouTube videos will still be there when you are done!

Limiting screen time – yes, from day one your parents have been telling you how important it is to give your eyes some rest– its still the same hownever now you have to invest more time online – officially. So, it’s even more important to take great care your body. Take regular breaks to rest up, do your fitness session at lunch. or go for a casual walk.

Even just standing up, stretching your legs, arms and neck are a great help. If you are struggling to concentrate, then take some time and get some fresh air. – it will do you a lot of good.

Remember it’s just as challenging for everyone else so try to find a way to stay sane. Arrange some time to catch up with your friends – and try to arrange group video calls – so you can ‘just chat’ and compare notes. Don’t gloat too much if you can go out and about when some of your pals are still in lockdown. Now’s the time when you need your friends to keep you laughing and sane while we all adapt to the new life.