The Online Education Experience

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The ABCs of Online Education: 3 Tips for Starting Online School

by Halton Thomson


Arrange a Workspace

Arranging a workspace is a critical first step to find success as an online student. While it’s not a great idea to do school “wherever you feel like it, whenever you feel like it,” you can have some flexibility at times, but it is best to have a designated and consistent spot where you complete your work.

Having a designated workspace helps get you in the right attitude for schooling. Do not underestimate the power of environment and mindset! Some recommendations for an appropriate workspace: good lighting, minimal distractions, and comfortable.


Brainstorm a daily routine

If you want to maximize your success as an online student, make sure you brainstorm a consistent daily routine that follows the school’s master schedule. Even though there are certain times set for you by the school, there are some things you get to set for yourself.

It is a great idea to set an ultimate start and end to your school day outside of the school’s set start and end time. You certainly do not want to feel like you are doing school all the time off and on. A benefit of being at home is the flexibility, and some days you may need to work longer or can work shorter but try your best to follow your ultimate start and end time to you school day.

When picking your ultimate start time, you get to decide how you start your school day now that you no longer need to worry about transportation time. Now you can fill that time with how you would like to start your day: breakfast, shower, hang out, go for a walk, etc. Avoid rolling out of bed and beginning classes.

 Plan how you will carry out your day around the school’s set schedule for you. Be sure you take the lunch break and make it your own. Make your Friday’s a casual day? Shake up your routine one day and do class on a couch? Reward yourself when you finish that test? Remember, even though the school has set some parameters, there are plenty of decisions about your routine that you get to make.


Cultivate a flexible spirit.

Cultivating a flexible spirit is not only good advice in general, but also pertinent for an online student. As we all know, sometimes technology can let us down. Whether you experience your own internet connectivity issues, there is a systems malfunction, login troubles, course loading difficulties, live class problems, etc., keep in mind that these obstacles will be resolved.

 Do not fret when technology challenges arise. Remain flexible and patient. The nature of online school brings sometimes unavoidable technical difficulties. Staying flexible and patient during times of stress will help you handle the issues better, especially when they are out of your control.

Prepare for a learning curve when operating online systems and courses. Give yourself time to learn them. You will be an expert before you know it! Keep flexibility and patience in mind as you navigate online school because even though you feel surrounded by technology, people are supporting you along the way.


Halton Thomson is the social media specialist for Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) and a former GCA high school social studies teacher of 5 years. When he isn't doing social media for GCA, you can find him most likely at a park with his son, Ty, and new Sproodle,Clive. He enjoys golfing and ping-pong, though rarely at the same time. Film and video has always been a hobby and interest of his; and he is quite a car enthusiast. He attempts to live a fairly active lifestyle, but that is mainly because he has a giant sweet tooth.

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