Three Things to Learn from Distance Learning 


Distance Learning 2020

Elizabeth C., Contributing Writer

Although undoubtedly different, distance learning may present its own set of opportunities for our school to grow. Looking at three aspects of the BASIS Independent Brooklyn at-home experience, here are three components to consider for the future of our educational model.

  1. Sleep and Schedules

The ability to  our own schedules is easily the best feature of our shift to distance learning. According to the Sleep Foundation, “teens’ natural sleep cycle puts them in conflict with school start times”. This seems obvious to those of us who struggle to wake up, often before the sun, for school. Even if one opts for a PM elective, the struggle to persevere through the exhaustion is evident. Sluggishly moving through the first few periods or trying to catch a nap in 520 are not uncommon activities for those of us in high school. The Sleep Foundation tells us that this is not uncommon for teens. They also found that schools that begin the day later see increased attendance, better performance, and less depressed teens. Distance learning is a reprieve from our typically strict schedule by complementing the biology of our student body. While Microsoft Teams is a measure for extenuating circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be something to be taken and applied to our ordinary model of education.

  1. Pre-Recorded Lessons

Our shift to an online, pre-recorded format gives further flexibility to our learning during these unprecedented times. The prerecorded format finally allows us to replay, rewind, and pause our lectures which provides another resource for students. The benefits of recording our lessons are numerous. Missing a lesson due to illness becomes less of a handicap and time-crunched note-takers can reference a lecture. When used in conjunction with in-person classes, recorded lessons serve the same essential purpose as textbooks. Varied learning styles and attention spans demand that our approach to academics be equally varied. Hopefully, recorded lessons will continue when we resume our regular program.

  1. Tailored Academics

Personal touch is a luxury still offered by our new model. Teachers now hold an unprecedented number of Student Hours. Not only are the teachers more accessible, but our student body is liberated from the confusion of room-roulette and the crunch of electives. Suddenly, one-on-one support is the name of the game for those motivated enough to pursue it. And, at this point in the year, it’s exactly what is desired. What I’ve coined ‘AP Season’ runs post-spring break to those two fateful weeks in May. Students often prefer to study from the comfort of their homes where they can individualize their study plans and optimize their time. Whether in conjunction with in-person learning or a substitution for that period, it’s worth considering what role Microsoft Teams can play in AP exam preparation and in tailoring our educational experience.