Natalia Fedorova, Regional Coordinator

15 December 2020

Ready for the class? Beetroot Academy Student’s Checklist

We’ve just launched our Fall-Winter courses and had a couple of classes in each. From here on, it’s important to set yourself up for productive four months of rapid learning. Here’s a checklist to help you settle in.

General Preparation

  • Add all classes to the Google Calendar. Try allocating time slots for self-studying and homework as well: the course takes about 20 hours of your time per week.
  • Ask your relatives and friends not to disturb you during the class.
  • Set up a comfortable working environment (in case the pandemic hasn’t forced you to yet). Sitting at the desk is better than lying in the bed. For coding courses--both in the classroom and in your future career--strongly consider a second monitor or at least keep the need in mind if buying a new desk.
  • Procure a dedicated notepad and a pen if you prefer analog notes over digital.

Classday Ritual

  • Check the internet connection quality and your setup’s general functionality. Connect headphones if necessary. Disable messenger notifications.
  • Make sure the lighting is adequate and your webcam does not reduce the quality while trying to make up for dim lights.
  • Play with your pets before the class so they do not nudge you during the session (too much). Let the folks at your place know you’ll be studying for the next few hours. Do not worry if people or cats still show up on your web camera feed: such is the tapestry of the remote era.
  • Leave your smartphone out of your immediate reach.
  • Get your favorite snack and some water so you can have a bite during the break
  • Follow the digital etiquette but also help shape your group’s communication culture. 5 emojis per message, while not the conventional figure, could be totally fine for you and your groupmates.
  • Don’t let the camera make you a different person. Stay as active as you normally are: treat classes as  a regular work project that had to go remote.
  • Make notes when the teacher is delivering key information. There are LMS and Google to look things up later but science confirms writing (or typing) things down is beneficial for learning. The unique perspective of your teacher is not necessarily available on search engines either.
  • Ask questions whenever you are missing something. Take advantage of studying together: help each other, exchange opinions, and bring the teacher into the conversation when necessary.
  • Get comfortable screen sharing when something does not work for you: this is as good if not better than asking the teacher to come to your desk would have been.
  • Create a playlist for learning, as there will be plenty of learning beyond the classroom. Favorite music and podcasts make even the most grueling sessions less unpleasant to go through.

Avoiding the Burnout

  • Set goals. What should you learn by the end of the week? What materials should you study? Which assignments should be completed? Raise the bar gradually: take up more difficult assignments, expand your knowledge by watching webinars ahead of the next week, study external sources covering the module’s material.
  • Create a self-studying schedule covering when and what you will work on. Ticket something off your list? Treat yourself to a cheesecake, new jeans, a video game, or anything else that makes you happy.
  • If there’s any question that you couldn't clarify during the class, share it on the chat after leaving the virtual classroom. This way they are not lingering on your mind or causing anxiety about future material.

Remote But Not Distant

  • The Regional Coordinator will answer all your questions and provide help when necessary.
  • The teacher is ready to help you find your way around the home assignment. Contact them for materials, class recordings, or even advanced home assignments.