Ten Tips from Teachers to Encourage Successful Distance Learning
Erin Wynne, Assistant Head of School for Institutional Advancement
At Eagle Hill, we are four days in to delivering our distance learning platform which includes live online instruction. Our teachers have experienced a great deal of success in these early days, and the feedback from the students has been positive and enthusiastic. Together we have compiled a list of tips based on our early observations to help ensure students’ success as they adjust to this new learning environment. This is a time, more than ever, when schools and parents must partner together to successfully deliver the education our children deserve. We hope these tips are helpful!
Dedicated Study Areas - Students having their own quiet study space is important. If you have multiple children, we recommend a designated/separate space for each to complete their work, if possible. This will not only provide a more focused environment, but will also reinforce that when a student is in this particular space during school hours, it is time to get to work. This is particularly necessary when students have video classes that they need to take part in; the less distractions and background noise, the better for all.
While having our furry friends around is one of the benefits to learning from home, please remind your children to put pets outside of the study space to avoid distractions for your child and the other students on the call.
Establish a routine for your child that includes specific wake up and bed times, as well as mealtimes. We know this can be a challenge (believe us, we know!), but the closer a daily routine resembles the traditional school environment, the easier it is to transition into traditional school activities.
Create an evening “study hall” time to ensure your child has completed all of his/her work for the day. This follows along the lines of creating a routine for your child, and is something many have been experiencing nightly at boarding schools and home prior to this crisis.
Parents should refrain from being in the room while your child is taking part in a live online class. If that is not possible, please be mindful that you’ll potentially be visible and audible to the whole class!
Please ask students to be mindful of their backgrounds while video chatting. Find a consistent location that is prepared for learning and public viewing, free of distracting decoration, movement, or sound.
Know your child’s schedule. Understand when your child should be getting classwork done and when they are expected to be taking part in live classroom sessions. Your partnership in making sure the schedule is observed is key. While it may seem invasive at first, please remember that while they are here away at school there are no shortage of faculty reminding them of their responsibilities.
Please be sure to read all of the notes and communications coming from the school. Information is constantly being updated during this crisis to make sure you stay up-to-date. If your child has a note system that allows you to keep track of ensuring assignments and deadlines are met on time, tune in!
Encourage your child to put his or her phone away during live class times. Remind her that it would not be allowed during traditional school time, and they have already proven to themselves that they can, in fact, survive without it.
Be interested in what your child is learning. Ask questions. Not only will they likely be excited to talk about it, but knowing you’re following along is sure to boost their accountability!
The importance of delivering a high quality distance learning platform has been at the forefront of our minds throughout the design and implementation phases. However, perhaps our single greatest take-away from the first three days of live, online instruction has been that our students see us as their second families, and they need and want us with them during these uncertain times. Online learning is providing so much more to our students, and our families.