Distance learner “professional” gives advice on staying productive

Sean Khanna, Staff Writer

It has been over a year since the pandemic started and schools have had to shift to an atypical distance learning environment. With distance learning, new types of challenges and obstacles, such as distractions, fewer physical interactions, less peer support and more arise. With the possibility of future in-person learning remaining unclear, the ability to stay productive in the online learning format grows increasingly crucial to students.

In an interview with The Wolf, Tualatin High School junior Sam Roach offered “professional” advice for learning in an online environment.

Q: Distractions are among the major cons that come with distance learning. What is your advice for staying focused throughout the day in online school?
A: “My advice is, if you have a stretch of homework, put aside some time for it. Put yourself in another room without distractions, and have a goal of how much you’re gonna get done in a certain amount of time.”

Q: Another big problem is time management. Any tips on this?
A: “I run a planner every day, and that really helps because this is a time where there is not really enough structure. Having a specific night and morning routine is very important. My planner has my top five priorities, three things I’m looking forward to, what I’m grateful for, schedule, the focus for the day and exercises (exercising is important!), as well. Looking forward to something is important because without looking forward to anything there is no purpose.”

Q: Physical interactions are quite minimal in this environment. What are some ways that you were able to establish/keep connections with teachers and classmates?
A: “I run on a pretty tight schedule, so I like to plan some Zoom calls with teachers and friends. I’ve also gone to parks (with social distancing) to interact with people. There’s a sense of purpose with meeting people.”

Q: Finally, the difficulty of staying motivated is a big downside to online learning. What are some things you do to stay motivated throughout the school year?
A: “I’m a runner, so I write myself a goal of where I want to go to school. There are short-term goals and long-term goals. Staying engaged in a daily routine is important as well, and my planner helps with that. Choosing things that give me positive energy back is important, too.”

Hopefully these tips will help you successfully take on distance learning for the second semester as well!