West Branch Technology Resources

Welcome to The West Branch Technology Resource Website.

We will update this page as we all work through this together. Under unusual and difficult circumstances your teachers and district staff are working hard to make sure your education has as few interruptions as possible.

We will work with you and your families to make arrangements if any technology needs replaced or picked up.

Study strategies

Many students assume that because a course is web-based that it will require less time and effort than a face-to-face course would. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, because the class does not meet physically, and therefore lacks the immediacy of face-to-face communication, everyone must work harder to establish the sense of learning community, and to stay focused and on task.

Successful online students:

1. Possess good writing skills

2. Schedule regular time each week to work in the course

3. Work without direct supervision

4. Meet deadlines without constant reminders

5. Take the initiative to contact the teacher and/or seek out help as soon as a problem arises

As you work through this course, keep the following in mind:

  • Online Communication Takes Effort

    • When non-verbal cues are removed from human interaction (body language, facial expressions and tone of voice), only words remain to communicate. As a result, in an online course, in which there is no (or very little) synchronous face to face communication, the majority of communication is through writing. Not only does this make interacting with classmates and the instructor more difficult, even for good writers, but takes more time to communicate ideas, concepts, arguments, etc. than speaking in a traditional classroom setting.

  • Be prepared to interact with your classmates and instructor

    • Community features are heavily used in online courses. This could be in a discussion forum, a group project, and/or other course activities. You'll need to make time for establishing and maintaining your social presence in this course, as well as becoming an exemplary member of the class community.

  • Get organized: Online Learning is a "Flexible" Schedule, not an "Easy" Schedule

    • An online course saves you travel time and time spent in a classroom, not work time. It takes considerable discipline to stay focused and on task in an online course. So, though you have flexibility in scheduling your work, that is at which points during the week you will "attend" class, online courses have just as rigorous course requirements and assignment/assessment deadlines and due dates as face-to-face courses. It's easy to fall behind without proper time management skills; rely on the course schedule to keep yourself on track. Plan for several hours of online interaction every week to meet all posting deadlines to the discussion board, wiki, blog or journal in addition to time spent interacting with reading materials, audio or video files and interactive multimedia activities. Block out time in your personal calendar and allow ample time to meet all deadlines.

  • Create a work space

    • Even though this course is online, you will still need a place to work that supports the way you learn, study, and complete graded work. Remember: There is no physical on-campus classroom here. You will have to find or create your own work space. Is it too loud? Will you be interrupted frequently? Will you have to access this space for several hours at a time on a regular basis? These are things you should bear in mind when selecting a place to work. It also wouldn't hurt to locate a place that would provide free public access to a computer should something happen to yours.

Cited from https://www.kent.edu/onlinelearning/being-successful-online