Personal Workspaces Prove Essential for Distance Learning Success

Naarada Samarasinghe, Opinion Editor

In order to combat the ever-growing pandemic, Fairfax County Public Schools made the decision to conduct the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year online. Though this choice has supporters, it’s forced students and teachers alike to adapt to online education and all the drawbacks that accompany it.


Luckily, even before the pandemic, distance learning was fairly popular.

The National Center of Educational Statistics said that in fall 2018, there were 6,932,074 students enrolled in distance education courses, with 21% of public schools offering any course entirely online.

Due to this, there are already many tips for staying focused on education while being miles away from school. One of the most important parts of distance learning is students organizing analog space. 

Many schools recommend students organize their desks about once a week. This allows them to get rid of excess papers or trash that may have accumulated over time. Additionally, it’s best to keep all objects on the desk in designated spaces to stay organized.

When participating in class, it’s important for students to have their phone off or on silent, both during tests and when listening to a teacher’s lecture. Placing their phone on “Do Not Disturb” is important to eliminate all distractions.

The analog desktop is only half of maintaining a good workspace, though. Students need to make sure their digital workspace is arranged so that everything that’s needed is easy to reach. Because of this, students need to keep all their important programs in folders, bookmark important tabs, and only keep needed programs open.

While it’s important to organize your desk at home, it’s also a good idea to change your surroundings. Lesley J. Vos found that working at places like coffee shops provides a moderate amount of background noise, which helps people working become more creative. Additionally, it can help students break out of the monotony of the daily routine caused by quarantine, stimulating the part of their brain that seeks novelty.