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Being a student or parent during this school year may feel frightening and there are many uncertainties when faced with adjusting to remote learning. Remote learning does not need to be as scary as made out to be though. We are fortunate enough to have the internet and social media at our fingertips to help out along the way. This blog serves as a resource for busy parents and college students to utilize and rid of the headaches that come along with remote learning. Keep reading for our tips and tricks, along with our top choices for platforms and social media accounts to aid in the 2020-2021 school year.
How to Stay Productive
Staring at the same computer screen all day can be mentally taxing and it may be difficult to take courses seriously for prolonged periods of time. And while having the internet and social media at our fingertips is a blessing, it’s also a curse because it leads to easy distractions from work that needs to be done. Luckily, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate these distractions and ensure productivity.
Universities suggest staying organized by having a location to write things down and create schedules to stick to. Being organized may look different for everyone, but jotting things down virtually or physically in a planner or on a sticky note will help keep all your ducks aligned. Other tips include breaking large tasks into bite-size portions, creating a comfortable study space, and eliminating all distractions from your work environment.
The best ways to eliminate distractions are putting your phone and laptop on do not disturb, putting your phone in another room, or setting app time limits. These tips and tricks only scratch the surface of what students and parents can implement into their daily routines.
How to Avoid Burn Out
Remote learning cuts the much-needed breaks for students out of their day. Without breaks from the computer screen and self-care awareness, burnout can occur very easily. Many universities, like Aspen University, recommend implementing the 50/10 rule. The 50/10 rule states for every 50 minutes spent working or studying, 10 minutes should be allotted to a break. These breaks can be used to prep a meal or snack, go for a walk, stretch, call a friend, or do laundry.
The possibilities for this 10-minute window are endless. Self-care awareness, or increased awareness for general wellness, is also extremely important in avoiding burnout. Getting ample sleep, nutrition, exercise, and sunlight will strengthen your immune system and keep your mental state sharp. Check out these articles explaining how eating effects work and productivity and how sleep deprivation affects work and performance.
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Educational websites are great sources for content review, tutoring, and extra practice problems. There is a wide range of educational websites available suited for students of various ages. Here are our favorites.
BrainPOP was founded in 1999 and is an educational website for students in grades K-12. Their animated videos are engaging and break down topics into easier bite-sized concepts. They cover topics in science, social studies, English, math, arts and music, health and SEL (social and emotional learning), and engineering and tech. BrainPOP has other sites such as BrainPOP ELL for children learning English, and BrainPOP Español and BrainPOP Français for non-English speakers. The website caters to parents as well with a section dedicated to grown-ups that showcases news, educational tools, and guides for parents.
2. Khan Academy
In 2008, Khan Academy was created and has since grown into a free online education powerhouse trusted by teachers and students around the globe. Kindergarteners and college students alike can reap the benefits of Khan Academy’s in-depth video and practice problem library. Traditional courses in math, science, language arts, and reading are provided for students in grades K-12. Khan offers AP and college course content as well in subjects like AP/College Physics, AP/College Macroeconomics, and college math such as differential equations. Test prep help is also available to students preparing to take the SAT or LSAT. Beyond course and test education, Khan has life skills tutorials helping young adults navigate careers and personal finance.
The early learning academy, Abcmouse, was founded in 2007 and dedicates its services to children ages two through eight. They have over 10,000 activities available in subjects such as reading, math, science, art & colors. ABCMouse prides itself on its step-by-step learning path which is a carefully designed program. Once a child completes a lesson, they progress to the next and are guided through the whole process. For busy parents with young kids, this platform is extremely useful as it is more hands-off but still provides peace of mind that your child is receiving education appropriate for their age and skill level.
For parents interested in having their child learn a second language, Duolingo is a great platform to use. Teachers have already started using Duolingo in their classrooms. There are over 15 languages to choose from. You can even learn Finnish! Beginners start from the beginning and advanced learners can take a placement test. It is encouraged to use the platform every day to achieve the best results. Duolingo is available on the computer along with Android and Apple products.
Educational Social Media Sources
YouTube, the second largest social media platform, has a plethora of educators and channels dedicated to academic subjects. These videos are free and serve as a fantastic tool for teachers, students, and parents to use. Here are our favorites.
1. Crash Course
With 11.3M subscribers, Crash Course may be one of the most used educational tools on YouTube. John and Hank Green started the channel in 2012 and 1232 videos have been created since. Both teachers and students use Crash Course to help review important concepts studied in the classroom. Their channel and website cover over 25 subjects ranging from history to engineering, film studies, psychology, and even study skills. Crash Course caters primarily to high school and college academic content and is a resource these students should take advantage of.
2. The Organic Chemistry Tutor
The Organic Chemistry Tutor focuses primarily on providing math and science tutorial videos. The channel was created in 2015 and has since accumulated 2.01M followers. The tutor provides examples and walks through problems step-by-step in SAT math, precalculus, calculus, physics, and various chemistry courses. Even though a large portion of the channel is dedicated to math and science, he even covers personal finance, spreadsheets, and stocks and bonds.
3. Tony Bell
While his channel may only help a limited number of people, accounting courses prove to be extremely difficult and Tony Bell helps those in need of assistance. He covers both managerial and financial accounting and goes in-depth about the fundamental skills needed to succeed in both areas. Since 2010 he has created 52 videos explaining financial accounting and 67 videos explaining managerial accounting. As Tony Bell would say, it’s accounting made easy.
4. Nancy Pi
MIT graduate Nancy Pi offers math tutoring and breaks difficult concepts down step-by-step. She created her channel in 2017 and has made 11 playlists covering different topics in calculus, algebra, precalculus, and trigonometry.
Our favorite picks only cover a small portion of the available tools and services the internet and social media platforms have to offer. Searching or googling for help with a particular subject or topic will bring up a handful of videos that can be used at anyone’s disposal. With these tips, tricks, and platforms navigating remote learning can be a breeze this school year!