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Limiting Distractions |Remote Learning

Updated: Jan 6

Students all around the world are faced with many challenges as they have to learn to adapt to many changes, we all would have never thought to be necessary. This ‘new normal’ not only means that social contacts and interactions are suffering, but also their schooling. Having to move away from the regular classroom to and learning to cope with either online or blended learning has not been easy for anyone. Students have had to adapt to these changes and learn to comply to new norms to help decrease the spread of the virus. However, with these already difficult changes, there are more challenges that occur which can impact the quality of students’ education.

When attending online classes and studying remotely, there will be more distractions present as they will be situated in the comfort of their home. Limiting distractions will help improve the efficiency of these online classes and provide the students with a high quality and more productive education so that they can continue to succeed in spite of all the difficulties of the ongoing situation.

Common distractions include:

  1. Electronic devices

  2. Family members

  3. Location of study

How to overcome these distractions:

Electronic devices-

The same digital devices that are helping your child complete their remote learning projects and classes are also the main cause for distractions when it comes to studying as well as watching something on television. Students may often be tempted to scroll through their social media accounts, play an extra game or two, or watch some of their latest television series when they should be studying. All of these possibilities can cause a negative impact on the quality of their study time.

To manage this distraction, parents could help the student compartmentalise the work needed to be done. For example, spending 25 minutes studying with a 5-minute break between the intervals can help keep the students’ attention span whilst not completely limiting their electronic device usage. Students should also put their phone to one side or on silent mode to avoid usage; this way, they won’t be interrupted by phone calls or text messages while they are studying.

Family members-

Siblings and other family members can be a distraction. It is worthwhile to let those know who could potentially disturb students’ concentration during online learning periods to refrain from doing so. When others learn to respect privacy and commitment to academic pursuits, better learning outcomes will be visible. Parents and students alike should also consider the learning space at home. Study tables should be set up in a quiet place, away from others living in the same household so that a distraction-free study zone is guaranteed.

Location of study-

When students are learning remotely, it is important that they do not fall into the trap of becoming lazier and demotivated by staying in bed for their online classes. The location of the study space has a great influence on productivity levels and the chances of distractions. If students sit or lay in bed for their studies, it can be a problem. Humans mentally associate the bed with resting. Even when studying at a desk, just looking at a bed affects student attention and interrupts focus. Likewise, kitchens can raise even more problems! If the kitchen is close to the student’s work area, they may end up going back and forth to grab food to eat. It is recommended that children remain in their school uniforms during their online classes and sit in an area where distractions are avoided. This will help them to develop discipline and focus.

While we all are doing our best to come to grips with the ever-increasing amount of challenges this pandemic is causing worldwide, children’s education must not be neglected at any time. Surely, the online learning environment is not ideal; however, unless people around the world develop enough self-discipline with the understanding that lifestyles and social interactions need to be changed, it is the best way to ensure that children are provided with ongoing education so that they can be successful in their future endeavors. Daily attendance throughout the school day, focus and a limitation of distractions will increase their chances of receiving the education they so deserve.

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