Distance learning has not been smooth sailing. The transition from traditional schooling to online Zoom learning has resulted in failing grades and disengagement in school.
But here’s how you can make the best of distance learning and gain the most from your Zoom classes.
According to San Jose Mercury News, Bay Area schools are trending downwards in terms of grades. More students are flunking and getting Fs than ever. Similarly, in the Sequoia Union High School district in Redwood City, students with one or more failing grades went from 19.7% of the student body to 29%.
The LA Times reported a rise in failures (Ds and Fs) across the LA unified school district based on a 10-week assessment. Uneven distance learning in the spring caused the LASD to pass every student universally. Now that it’s fall and we’re still distance learning, those students are not working or engaging at the same level they usually are, resulting in lower grades.
So, how can we combat lowering grades and lack of motivation, and make distance learning effective?
Solution I: Private Tutoring
This can be an expensive option, but it’s also one of the best options. But even if you are low income, it’s still possible to seek out private tutoring.
You can reach out to people you know in your community. Possibly there might be some older high school students doing well in school that can tutor younger students in certain subjects. You might know a family member that is good at math that can help a student with their algebra.
Another option would be to look for non-profits and tutoring organizations that help low-income students find affordable resources. A link to these additional resources can be found here!
Additionally, if you feel that you have a good grasp on certain subjects, give back to your community and tutor!
Solution II: Get the Right Gear
To maximize the positive effects of Zoom learning, you must have the best materials. Watching Zoom classes on a laptop is a much better option than on a phone. You’ll also want to have headphones so you can hear your classes.
If you cannot afford these items, reach out to your community, and ask for help! Maybe your school has resources to provide for you. Also, check out Facebook groups or eBay where people may be selling laptops and headphones at lower prices.
Solution III: Ask Questions
We know it is hard to engage in class when it is not in person, but reaching out to teachers with questions is the best way to learn. If you are confused about the material, make sure you email your teachers and ask for help. It is up to you as a student to take that initiative and advocate for your own learning.
Solution IV: Hone your Study Habits
This is a great skill to start in high school and will be beneficial even when distance learning is a thing of the past.
Studies have shown that handwritten notes allow students to retain knowledge better than typing notes. So make sure you have a pen and paper with you for all of your Zoom classes. Keep a calendar in your room with all the due dates of your assignments recorded in it. Also, schedule your studying. It may be hard to separate your home from your school time, so create blocks of time where you use your room to study, and blocks of time where you use your room for fun.
Finally, the most important thing you can do is keep a positive outlook. If you stay motivated and upbeat about distance learning, you will gain the most from your classes.