Many schools and colleges have opted to keep students home for the fall because of the large number of coronavirus cases still plaguing the U.S., opting instead for distance learning. For students and parents alike, this will definitely be a change, but fortunately, there are many things you can do to help your child stay on assignment, set goals, obey directions, and get the most out of their remote learning experience.
Don't worry, we've gathered a list of tips and tricks to help your child excel in online school if you're worried about an online school. It is easy to incorporate these techniques, and the framework will do wonders for both you and your kids.
Since you're not going to have the same face-to-face opportunities to interact with the teacher as you usually would, you're going to have to put in some extra effort to interact with the teachers of your kid. An effective way to understand class expectations and ensure that your child is not falling behind in their online learning is to connect with the teacher of your child, so find a contact tool that works best for both you and the teacher, such as phone calls, zoom calls, emails, text messages, or otherwise. Just make sure you don't overwhelm the teacher with unwanted texts, so maintaining good boundaries is important. But contact may help remove any form of misunderstanding within those healthy boundaries.
For a kid to not know what to expect during their online school day, it can be disorienting. A timetable is a perfect way to keep your children focused, coordinated, and on assignment. In their classes, teachers sometimes do this and then go over the schedule each morning so that the students know what to expect. You should post the regular schedule so your child can see it, and it might be a good idea to discuss the schedule aloud at the beginning of each day if you want to mimic the school environment. In an online learning environment, structure and routine will help students excel.
It can be tempting to let the house get messy while everyone is at home attending online school and working, but a little organization can go a long way. From your child's notebooks and directories to headphones and tablets, you can do this by developing a structure in which everything has its position. You can also produce labels so that everybody is on the same page in the family. Having a structured atmosphere for learning will help your child concentrate on what they need to do: learning!
Particularly during COVID-19 and lockdown, it can be easy to fall into a routine of staying indoors, but a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more. It can be as quick to get some outdoor activity as going for a stroll, taking your kid to the park, or playing with them. Finding an activity that your child really enjoys is important; it will be easier to get them to commit to doing it that way. Building it into the regular routine is a simple way to make sure you and your family get outside and exercise. That way, everybody knows and can be held responsible for what to expect.
Your child would appreciate online learning more if they have a place that is dedicated to their education, much as you would prefer to work remotely in a designated office room. You should set up a desk with a laptop or tablet in a space with minimal noise where they would be able to focus if you do not have an extra room in the house. If you have space, building a kind of mock classroom with a whiteboard or blackboard as well as some interactive toys might be helpful.
How many people go to online colleges, how many people work remotely, and what kind of personal activities you use the internet for distance learning would depend on the best internet speeds (speed, gaming, etc.). Generally speaking, the more individuals and computers linked to the internet, the higher you'll need internet speeds. There are several fast cable and DSL internet plans out there, but you should check if there are fiber internet plans available in your region if you really have a need for speed. Internet fiber can hit speeds of up to 2 Gbps and has the lowest latency span, which means it will have faster response times for your video calls, streaming services, and online games.
Your child can encounter glitches or freezes over Zoom if your internet speeds are too sluggish, which may affect their ability to follow along with lesson plans and complete their assignments.
|Number of users
|Minimum internet speed
|Light school + work use (video calls, web browsing, email)
|School + work + personal (video streaming, gaming, etc.)
|Heavy school + work + personal
|Heavy school + work + personal
You would want to ensure that your internet speeds can handle any online activities you throw at them in order to set your child up for academic success. Using our internet speed test is a fast way to test what internet speeds you are actually getting. You'll be aware of your download and upload speeds within seconds. To find out what Internet speeds you need to upgrade to, you can then use your current speeds. For eg, it may be time to turn to a 150Mbps or 200Mbps plan if you're only getting around 50Mbps on a 100Mbps plan.
The best remote learning internet plans have high enough speeds for the entire family, and the perfect plan for you can even provide unlimited data depending on your internet usage. Otherwise, after your family has used your allocated data for the month, if your internet plan contains a data limit, you can experience slower speeds. That could have a negative effect on online education, remote work, and more.
50Mbps Internet Plans - Best for 2 people
200Mbps Internet Plans - Good for 3 or more people
You would then want to get to know the best video conferencing apps for remote learning once you have found out what internet speeds you need for distance learning. They include:
Cisco Webex: Cisco Webex offers a free version of this video conferencing app that includes HD-quality video, 100-participant max, screen-sharing, and no time limit.
Skype Meet Now: Skype has upped its game since COVID-19 and now offers a new feature, Skype Meet Now, which allows you to start a meeting instantly. Only the host needs to have a Skype account, which makes it much easier to use.
Zoom: Zoom is super easy to use and can host up to 100 participants. There’s a great free version, although it limits group video calls to 40 minutes. The most expensive plan is $19.99/month.
Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts is Google’s free video-conferencing app. You can only use it if everyone has a gmail.com email address. It can accommodate up to 150 participants.
If you want to complement the online learning of your child with other remote learning resources. There are plenty of great resources out there, many of which are free or inexpensive. These online learning applications can help build on the abilities that your child is learning in school or help them develop new abilities.
Some of the best learning apps online include:
Lynda: Lynda costs $25/month but you can try it out for free for a month. It includes video lectures about many topics, such as business, web development, software development, and beyond. Unlike Skillshare, these classes are taught by experts.
Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers free classes on a variety of subjects from computer programming to chemistry to math. Your program is self-paced so your child can progress however they feel most comfortable.
Coursera: Coursera offers free structured online classes, many of which are offered by prestigious universities.
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