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What’s the Best Online School Etiquette?


Online etiquette has always been an important part of life, but it is even more so now with all of us staying at home and social distancing.  Insight Education has now moved to a virtual platform and so have many schools for the rest of the semester and possibly summer. 


Here are three tips that Insight feels are very necessary to be successful and mindful during this time and going forward.


Insight Tip #1: Improve Your Video Conferencing

First, let’s talk about tips for video conferencing.  Most of your teachers are holding virtual office hours or lectures and being present during them is required. Here are some important actions to take before you jump on a video call.


    • You should look presentable for a video call. When Insight says presentable, we mean that you should brush your teeth, comb your hair, wash your face, and wear appropriate clothing. Be sure to wear a shirt AND pants, both matter. 
    • The next step is to set up your device in a quiet area where you won’t be distracted.
    • Some schools have required that students are sitting in a chair and not in their beds. Insight agrees, being in a chair with a table helps your body realize that it is time for you to pay attention and get in the mindset of going to virtual “school”.  Your bed should be the place where your body knows it’s time to relax and rest.  So find a space in your room or home and set it up so that you can be present during the meeting you may have.
    • Be sure your background is clean and not distracting to others on the call as well.



Insight Tip #2: Get the Most Out of Your Online Classes and Meetings

First, be sure you are alert and paying attention.  When you are having a meeting with someone one-on-one, or if you are listening to your teacher lecture, be sure to close other browsers (includes YouTube videos and group chats!) on your computer, don’t keep looking at your phone, and have the television turned off. 


You know what distracts you, so keep these distractions away and don’t tempt yourself to just move to the next tab to check out the latest videos people are posting.  Attend to what you are supposed to be attending to—your teacher or the speaker.  During online lectures or presentations, also take notes. 


If you have a question, note it down and ask when it is the appropriate time. These skills will help you while you are in the midst of distance learning and in the future for any meetings you are part of.



Insight Tip #3: Learn to Actively Participate

This is a great time to invest in participating in class and building your relationship with your teachers.  That means asking informed questions, asking follow-up, and clarification questions.  If you are a student who is less inclined to speak out loud in front of class, this is the perfect time for you to participate virtually. 


You are in a place where you are expected to contact your teacher through email to speak with them.  They want you to attend their office hours, so now is the time you can engage. And when you engage with them here are a few tips Insight has found to be really helpful:


    • Address the person you are email respectfully: “Dear Mr. Bloom, Hello Mr. Bloom”
    • Ask them how they are doing.
    • Ask your question in a thoughtful way, but also be clear and concise.
    • Thank them for their time.
    • Be sure to capitalize, and to use proper grammar and punctuation!



Finally, Insight wants to leave you with some general tips as you engage more often on online platforms.  This is a time to think about what you post before you post it.  Be sure to be open-minded and understand that people are coming from different perspectives. Be constructive and positive, and remember what you post on the internet can follow you forever!


Distance learning, or virtual learning offers you opportunities you may not have had before.  Whether you prefer it or not, this is the new normal for you during the next few months.  At Insight, we do believe these tips for online school etiquette will help you even after this phase. 


Authored by Insight Counselor Jenny Bloom.

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