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How to maximize remote learning

Anya Villanueva and Jerika Clemente

The ‘new normal’ in every Isko and Iska’s semester started a few weeks back when classes began. The change calls on both students and professors to adjust to remote learning as soon as possible. The question now is, how? Below, we provide a few tips that will not only help you smoothly adjust to remote learning but will also allow you to maximize its benefits!

1. Take free online courses

If you are keen to learn and can afford to in a remote environment, why not take the opportunity to learn outside of your school curriculum? Free online courses or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are in demand now more than ever and many courses also provide certificates after you complete them. Some easily accessible MOOCs are Coursera, edX, Udacity, Canvas, and much more.  

2. Attend free webinars and online talks about topics that interest you

From Facebook posts and events to Youtube ads, free webinars and talks seem to be everywhere these days! Many, if not all organizations, have taken on the challenge of innovating events such as these in order to continue fulfilling their mission and purpose.

3. Take steps (even baby steps!) to prepare for the future, no matter how uncertain 

When you can, take this time to also learn how you can prepare for the 'new normal'. May it be in terms of home life (ex. sanitation methods) or work-life (ex. how to have efficient video meetings), learning a few tidbits here and there will be helpful in the long run! In career planning, for example, a practical step would be learning the difference between a resume and a Curriculum Vitae is, then learning how to write them efficiently and effectively.

4. Look for supplementary resources online as you take online classes

It's unlikely that you’d search online for supplementary resources to help you understand the lessons while in a physical learning environment, but thanks to online remote learning, it's easier to do so! And since going out of the house is not an option, E-libraries are also one way to go! Check out your local college’s E-library and search for your desired content. As you come across these supplementary learning resources, feel free to share them in class, or even bring it up during online lectures to help facilitate further discussion and clarifications.

5. Have a dedicated space in your house for remote learning

Aside from helping you focus and increase productivity while studying and learning, having a dedicated space also helps clarify the boundary between home and work/study - the blur of which has been a source of anxiety and stress for many people nowadays. This would also be a chance to incorporate some ergonomic principles into your desk space for more efficient and effective studying!

6. Remove all distractions

With the switch to remote learning, it’s easy to get distracted by social media sites. A website blocker could help you stay on track and focus on your work! We recommend Forest, Cold Turkey, Pause, or StayFocused. You could also put your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb to stay fully focused on your tasks at hand.

7. Get organized! 

Remote learning has us all scrambling to keep track of the requirements and deadlines for all of our classes. It’s easy to forget deadlines and to mix up dates for synchronous classes. But, you can manage tasks by writing a weekly schedule onto a planner, setting reminders for deadlines on Google Calendar, or by using Notion. Notion is an app that allows you to put all your work into one space. It can be used to make schedules, track your tasks, take notes, and basically organize the cluttered workspace in your head. The best part is unlimited file uploads to Notion are available for UP students! Just register for Notion using your UP email to get started.

8. Remember to take breaks

The shift to remote learning has us all feeling as if there’s no end to the number of requirements to submit. Most of us may be working on academic requirements the whole day that we forget to take breaks. But taking small breaks in between work may actually be more productive. One productivity technique that emphasizes the importance of taking breaks is the Pomodoro technique. Pomodoros are 25 minute intervals for you to do your set tasks. In between each Pomodoro take a 5 minute break. After 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-30 mins. Forest is a Google Chrome Extension and app that follows this technique!

9. Do something just for fun!

Ever since the pandemic started, there’s been an immense pressure on our generation to always be doing something productive. It can feel that if what you’re doing is not resume-adding, then it’s not worth doing. But that’s not true! You don’t always have to have an output or proof of your productivity. Hobbies are for your personal enjoyment. This is a great time to explore new hobbies that you might end up liking! Setting aside time to do something you enjoy could help you feel more focused during your classes.

10. Take care of yourself

The fatigue of online classes and endless deadlines may be overwhelming, especially since this is the first online semester. Although the number of tasks to do per week may be a little daunting, let’s not forget to take care of ourselves. Don’t forget to eat full meals, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep at night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of rest for 18-25 year olds. If you can, also make time to exercise or to just relax by spending time with your family or friends. Take the tasks one step at a time and you’ll get there! 


Overall, we’re all still adjusting to the shift to remote learning. It’ll take some time, but with these tips, we’ll all get the hang of it! Try not to get too stressed out or overwhelmed because we’re all in this together, taking it one step at a time.