Online Learning: 5+1 ways to make the most of it
Let’s admit it: as time goes on, we are all noticing that it is nearly impossible to do any kind of learning without the implementation of technology. That’s why at E-planet we are strong advocates of blended education, (or ‘hybrid learning’ as it has also come to be known), a method of education that allows students of all ages to combine the traditional classroom setting with self-paced online sessions.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has just reminded us of how difficult it may be to keep the doors of learning open for all. Having shifted our daily routines and shut down schools for either weeks or months, the coronavirus pandemic made even more English learners embrace e-learning and m-learning.
So, with this sudden shift away from the classroom, you may find online learning a little disorientating since you are used to the physical presence of a teacher. Or you may be wondering how you can be a successful online learner. We get it; the transition to online learning can be challenging, so here are our top tips to get the hang of it much more easily!
- Create a Study Space
It is tempting to grab your laptop and start working on your next essay or exercise from the comfort of your bed. However, balancing a laptop on your knees is not the best way to study! Bear in mind that the ideal learning space is quiet, has a comfortable chair and desk, sufficient lighting, and good airflow.
However, do not forget that you can keep working on your English language skills everywhere – even when riding a bus! For example, you can download the English Courses app (available to all Android and iOS users through the Google Play Store and the App Store) to watch educational videos, revise vocabulary and grammar, get access to a phonemic chart, listen to the most common English sounds, and even record your voice and receive a score for your pronunciation!
- Gather Your Tech & Info
You obviously need high-speed Internet access. But do you also need to create an account with a username and password to connect to a platform? Are assignments uploaded to a cloud service? Is video conferencing software required?
In any case, make sure you have the required account details or access information in advance, download any app(s) you may need and test that your speakers, headphones, camera, and microphone work properly.
- Organise your learning time
One of the biggest benefits of online learning is flexibility, but too much freedom can pose new challenges. That’s why you should manage your time wisely. Do not forget that learners with good time management skills tend to make progress much more easily.
So, figure out a routine that works for you and follow it diligently. Make sure to create a schedule and stick to it so you can finish everything on time. It is also important to remember to take breaks, stand up and move around.
- Minimise distractions
From social media to Netflix, you may be faced with many distractions that can easily derail your progress. It’s important to know how to lessen these distractions and set aside time to concentrate.
Keep your TV turned off and have your mobile phone set to silent mode. You do not want to lose focus every time a text message or notification pops up! Some background music may help you relax and concentrate, but it should not be too loud.
Take extra steps so you don’t feel isolated. Do not forget that help and support are always only a quick message or click away! Course providers and teachers are always there for you, so don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you don’t approach them when you are facing a difficulty, they may presume everything is alright.
And don’t forget teamwork! Just because you are not physically together in a classroom with other English learners, do not think that you can’t work together on a project, or just support each other.
6. Take Advantage of the Digital World
Online learning always helps students to become more independent and self-reliant. You can move at your own pace and fully understand what is being taught before moving on to the next class. You can also push your learning to the next level. For example, check if there any additional resources on the website, the YouTube channel, or the Facebook page of your language school. Do your research!
Online learning comes with its own unique challenges, but it can certainly help you become a great English learner. After all, education is about enjoying new experiences – even in the most chaotic of times!