Students find ways to get the most out of online classes

With the rise of “Zoom fatigue,” some have developed strategies to stay focused during class.


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Multiple hours of Zoom classes tiring students out

A month into remote learning, students are figuring out  ways to stay focused and make the most of their online classes—or just to survive them. Their tips range from napping in between classes to taking screen breaks and spending more time outdoors.  

While few prefer remote learning to in-person school, some students have found creative ways to focus their learning. 

Senior Ellie Cummings, explained that she finds concentration to be difficult online. She cited frequent breaks as being crucial to maintaining her focus.

“Even though I’m just sitting at my desk all day, staring at a screen is exhausting,” explained Cummings. “It’s been helpful when my teachers have given us breaks during class.”

Junior Sanjay Jaikaran, agreed that Zoom classes can feel unengaging. Like Cummings, he has found that it is necessary to take time during the school day to unwind.

“I take a nap everyday after Zoom because of how draining it is. I prefer in-person classes, mainly because I find it easier to pay attention,” said Jaikaran.

Though far from ideal, remote learning will likely be the reality for most students for the foreseeable future. Luckily, students like freshman Tyler Van Gorp have found ways to make it more manageable.

“I go outside during my Zooms, which helps me concentrate,” said Van Gorp. “The one or two days that I didn’t go outdoors, I felt substantially more fatigued and unmotivated.”

Cummings emphasized the importance of spending time outdoors.

“I have rowing after school, which helps get me up and moving after sitting down all day,” said Cummings. 

According to Jaikaran, spending time with friends is similarly important to keeping his morale up during the week. 

“After class, I FaceTime my friends, and sometimes we hang out on the weekends. Talking online doesn’t make up for not seeing each other in-person, but it’s nice to socialize,” explained Jaikaran.

Though students agree that there are strategies they can use to make remote learning more enjoyable, some emphasize the roles teachers have in supporting them.

Jaikaran noted that he prefers teachers that use breakout rooms in Zoom. 

“I would like breakout rooms even better if we were able to request to be put with our friends,” Jaikaran said.

Cummings added that teachers often set the tone of a Zoom lesson.

“When a teacher comes into a Zoom with a positive attitude, it makes it easier to feel motivated and ready to learn,” explained Cummings. “It’s also helpful when teachers are flexible with their students.”