How to learn online

Alex Fenton & Aleksej Heinze

Alex Fenton, PhD, is a Doctor of Digital Business at The University of Salford Business School. His research is focused on how innovative digital technologies can improve business processes and impact positively on individuals. Prior to becoming an academic, he ran a digital development company and helped to get Manchester online with the Virtual Chamber in 1997. He also created a smartphone project for major sports clubs called Fan Fit, which helps fans to get active as an official club app. He also released a book in 2020 called Strategic Digital Transformation.

 

Aleksej Heinze is an Associate Professor in Digital Marketing at KEDGE Business School, Marseille Campus in France and received his doctorate in 2008 from Salford Business School, UK. His area of expertise is the use of digital transformation in education and marketing. Aleksej researched the use of blended learning which cobines online and offline elements of education and has lead production of a number of courses using these methods. He has a breadth of experience of leading multinational educational projects, most recently it is shared in the second edition of the Digtial and Social Media Marketing: results driven approack book, which explores the use of digital tools for marketers. A free online course is available here - http://mastersindigitalmarketing.org/course-information/

Website: https://www.salford.ac.uk/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With all schools, colleges and universities now closed, and thousands of workers at home with children to educate, people around the world are adapting to their new situations and exploring new opportunities for learning.

An Internet connection, a smartphone, tablet or a computer gives the ability to unlock an almost infinite world of learning opportunities and interaction. Here digital learning experts Dr Alex Fenton, from the University of Salford Business School and Dr Aleksej Heinze from Kedge Business School in France, give their top tips for maximising the opportunities for online learning.

 

  1. Make sure that you have the technology to engage in the learning process

This means a reliable Internet connection and using the best screen possible. If you know where in your home the WiFi hub is, position yourself closer to it. If you have a chance to use a wired connection, this can also give you the most stable and fastest Internet speeds in your home. If you have a choice between a smartphone or a tablet - choose a tablet with its bigger screen, which is also easier on your eyes. Make sure you take regular breaks from the screens - take some exercise and make a drink.

  1. Identify your learning objectives and study goals

Your attitude and motivation will largely determine your success and effectiveness of your learning process. Decide how much time you would like to devote to learning and what you would like to achieve.

  1. Build a study routine

When learning online, it is also important to have a study routine. Commit to certain goals each day and then take a break. Reward yourself - eat one of your favourite treats for example. It is important to experiment with which time of day works best for you. Some people are early birds and like to learn first thing in the morning when they are less distracted and have not connected to the world news, social media or other distractions. Others like to wind down with learning and do it before they go to sleep and forget about the daily worries. Reading offline or listening to audiobooks and podcasts as part of your routine will also break up screen time.

  1. Find learning buddies 

Learning together is more fun, better for learning and also helps you to overcome challenging times together. Many learning tools allow for interaction with the other learners and tutors. This is great if you are struggling with something and want someone to help you as well as making friends and developing existing relationships. Using audio or video conferencing technology and additional communication tools that are free such as Skype can help you to make the learning process more interactive.  

  1. Don’t give up!

Every time that we start something new it is a challenge. Online learning presents a number of these challenges such as connectivity, ability to follow the time management routine as well as following the learning instructions.

The biggest challenge for you is to motivate yourself and keep going and trying to understand if something does not work. For example, a number of tools might be expecting a certain version of a web browser or a certain Internet speed to connect and engage. Try things out, experiment and ask for help - the actual process of learning how to learn will be a great skill for your future. If you stick to these principles this could be a great way of maximising the opportunities available over the coming months.

 

 

Five educational resource ideas

Watch tutorials on video sharing platforms

If you like to go to a gym but it is closed, there are some great online resources that you could follow. For example, if you are missing your Metafit session - one of the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you could find a number of videos on YouTube, such as Joe Wicks, where you can join others and just follow them. Assuming of course that you have no medical conditions that prevent you from doing physical activity. 

Reading and online books

Your school, university or community library will have a variety of e-books that you can download and you can also find many low cost and free books to read through a Google search.  Project Gutenberg for example offers almost 60,000 free ebooks which are in the public domain as the copyright has expired.

Learning apps 

If you only have a smartphone and no computer or a smart TV, you can download and learn a number of things using smartphone apps. For example, you can learn new languages, history or geography for places you might want to visit once the confinement is over.  

MOOCS 

MOOC’s are Massive Open Online Courses and cover a wide variety of courses at little or no cost. They work on a combination of recorded materials and support from the wider learning community and it is sometimes possible to get a certificate of completion for those that finish.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"