Frustrated parents, deprived students and digital disruption can make for a gloomy picture. The world is dealing with something unprecedented, not seen in generations. Whilst Hong Kong has the experience in dealing with off the back of a number of epidemics from cholera to H5N1 bird flu and of course, Severe Acute Raspatory Syndrome (SARS). Back then, technology didn’t proliferate as much and the virus was contained locally quite quickly so schools were able to make up for the lost time. However, we are now living in a new world where it’s simply impossible to cover the whole curriculum without focusing on a phenomenon known as remote learning.
No-one said that this would be easy. As one teacher at a Hong Kong secondary school, speaking on condition of anonymity said: “The longer this drags on, the more demanding parents get and more stress is put onto the students.”
This is why it is more important than ever to make the most of the situation and have a solid learning plan moving forward. Today, the spotlight is on schools, teachers, students and parents all working in tandem. We look at some of the ways to not only survive, but thrive in this era of remote online learning.
1. Maintain a routine and structure
One of the hardest things for many students is the disruption to any sense of structure within a school day.
Use a one scheduler/ calendar: Whether on your phone or on a paper calendar. Use one master calendar for all your to dos and deadlines so that nothing gets overlooked. Make sure you put everything that is known in there in advance. Most smartphone calendars now have alarms that can be activated as reminders of specific tasks that you know you may forget about. Be sure to keep checking this calendar and at the end of every remote school day go through it and see if any changes need to be made.
Account for times to check your email: Communication is key when learning remotely, and we suggest you block a time off in your schedule to do so at least twice daily.
Try recreate a learning environment as much as possible: this means sitting upright on a chair (not in your bed) in a quiet environment without the television blasting in the background. Try disable any distractions that can come from social media, YouTube etc. unless it’s necessary for a particular task. This is important for efficiency and quality of work not to get compromised. Find what works best with you as varying learners have different preferences.
Take a break: Whether it’s a snack, some fresh air (whilst following social distancing) or a computer break. At the same time, getting enough sleep is still as important so this isn’t an opportunity for an all-night marathon game session.
Makes goals for yourself: Making goals for yourself in relations to where you are in the syllabus, what your teacher expects, any skills or aspects that you may need to work on as part of the routine (more on this under point 5, self-directed learning).