Challenges & Solutions Around Online Learning

by Leslie Garcia-Sanchez

Through the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, the life of a high schooler has evolved in many ways. While many people have found different ways to adapt to the change to online learning, there is still a lot of uncertainty. Here are a few challenges of online learning and ways to overcome them.

1. Distraction

One of the most difficult obstacles is distraction. Distraction can present itself in many ways such as through social media notifications or in the latest video game. Staying focused on the task at hand is difficult when a student has never had to deal with independent study. The additional struggle of constant information can become overwhelming and the influx of information can pose additional challenges. Organization is truly the key to helping solve this problem because it helps us to better our time management thus increasing productivity. This may be through a journal or keeping all your assignments in a calendar.

2. Day-to-Day Interaction

Human connection is one of the more overlooked parts of remote learning. A student's school day has been suddenly changed from six hours of in-person instruction to completely solitary learning. This drastic change can make students feel helpless when encountered with a problem with homework or in their social life. It may seem that one is alone but the reality is that many other students are also in the same situation. Finding a virtual study partner can help ease this void in one’s learning.

3. Mental Health

Over the last decade, mental health has become a more prevalent part of our society’s conversation. Normally, one may cope with struggles such as anxiety, stress, or loneliness by talking to someone. In an era of social media, we may think that we do not need this connection, but the reality is that it is more important than ever because we are more distant. Practicing self-care has become more necessary than ever as it provides relief to your body and your mind from the constant cycle of work. This may be as simple as taking a breath of fresh air outside or attempting to cook new food. Whatever it may be, make time for these activities as they can increase productivity and happiness in the long run.

While there are several struggles to online learning there are ways to overcome them. Communication is a tool that is important all the time but especially in the current learning environment. Not only does communication help us build stronger relationships with our teachers, peers, and parents but it also helps students recognize where their areas of struggle are. For example, upon reflection, a student may realize that they need extra time to complete an assignment. By maintaining an open conversation between a student’s teacher and the student, they can self-advocate while also remaining academically responsible.

As a high school student myself I have learned how to balance my extracurricular activities with schoolwork through a lot of trial and error and seeing what works best for me. Every student is unique and what works for one person may not be the same for another. Learning, especially online learning is a process that requires a lot of self-reflection and thought. This process of learning is discovered with time so it is important to be patient with yourself and know where your boundaries are and how you can use this to help you.

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