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5 Ways to Set Up for Online Learning Success!


Originally published by iLEAD Online

Learning online has many benefits. Flexibility in where and when you learn and the ability to design your own learning space are two of them. But successful online learning requires some thought. Unlike a traditional classroom, online learning requires learners to take more ownership of what and how they learn. For many, this is a big shift and takes some adjustment. Read below for some tips on how to make the transition easier and have a successful semester.

Set Up a Designated Work Space

Where will you learn? Even if this answer may change from time to time, it’s important to set up a designated space in your home or where you plan to spend the most time.

For younger learners, think about a space where parent and learner can work together comfortably. A nook in the kitchen or living room with a small storage bin will do. Keep it simple. Minimize distraction. Make it fun and comfortable for both child and adult.

For teens, think about a space where you are really comfortable and feel like your best self. However, distraction is a problem. Do not set up your work space near your TV or where you play video games. Your brain is already programmed in that space. Think about flexible seating options so you can mix it up through the day. If you have them accessible, hang a bulletin board or wall calendar for you to keep track of important things. Have snacks and water handy. Make it a place you really want to be every day. Check HERE for some inspiration.

Supplies to have at your work space:

  • Pencils, pens, highlighter
  • Notebook for notes (one for each course or one large one organized by tabs)
  • Planner or calendar
  • Computer
  • Printer (optional)
  • Sticky notes
  • Something to do that doesn’t distract you from work. A fidget spinner, jar of play dough, stress ball, or doodle pad are all great ideas.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t have to buy anything. Think about what you already have, and make it work for you!

Set Your Schedule

It is recommended you learn about four to six hours, five days a week. Make sure to plan out your learning times. Work with your parent/guardian and your academic coach to brainstorm what will work best for you. Write it out and stick to it. If you miss an hour here or there, make sure you add it on to a different day to make up that missed time. Setting your learning schedule will help you stay on track or even finish courses early! Make sure to check each course in PowerSchool for live virtual workshops, on-site science labs, and other events that you may have to schedule in.

Eliminate Distractions

It is so easy to get distracted when learning online.

StayFocused is a free Chrome extension that allows you to block certain websites, set time limits on others, and track your time. Limiting the time you spend on YouTube, Facebook, and other fun sites to 10 minutes gives you a quick brain break and then reminds you to get back to schoolwork. Make sure you have Google Chrome installed as your internet browser, and then click HERE to install. Then change your settings by clicking the icon in the upper right-hand toolbar and finding the settings link.

What other distractions do you think you need to eliminate to be successful? Make a list of possible distractions and and then brainstorm some specific ways to stay focused below.

  • List possible distractions:
  • List ways to stay focused:

Gather Your Technology

You don’t need much to learn online. A laptop or desktop will do. It can also be helpful to have a mouse (our wrists were not designed to use a touchpad all day every day). Using a mouse can eliminate wear and tear on your body. A printer may come in handy if you prefer to print out your assignments and write them by hand. You will also need steady WiFi. Contact your facilitator if you need support getting a laptop or WiFi for learning.

Set up your virtual learning space (AKA your computer)

Suggested Bookmarks

Suggested Chrome Extensions

  • Grammarly (helps you correct your spelling and grammar with one click of a button)
  • HERE are 10 more we love!


We highly recommend all learners have a Google Account. This allows them access to email, Google Drive, and more. Learners will need to use Google Docs for their school work. You can register for an account for free, or request one through the school.

Learn on the Go!

PowerSchool has an App for Apple devices. Click HERE to download to your iPhone or iPad. This is great if you want to check discussion boards, do some reading, or submit an assignment when you are not around your computer.

Use Accountability

Holding yourself accountable for success in online learning is important. Here are some things to think about to ensure you have lots of support for success:

  • Meeting with your parent/guardian: Set a regular (weekly or monthly) meeting time to go over your grades with your parent(s)/guardian. Talk about what you are doing really well and enjoying and where you are struggling. Brainstorm ways you and your parent can work together to meet your goals.
  • Meeting with your facilitator: Your facilitator is here to help you be successful in school and life. Make sure to reach out wherever you are struggling. They can help you brainstorm solutions and offer resources.
  • Find a study buddy. There are lots of online learners just like you! Reach out to your peers in your classes to find someone to connect with.
  • Reward yourself! Whether it is little rewards throughout the day (a gummy bear for every assignment completed) or big rewards (a trip for As and Bs at semester), creating a system of external rewards helps keep you focused on getting through.
  • Make checklists. Log in every morning to make a list of everything you need to do that day at school. Here are some suggested daily to-dos for success:
    • Read your checklist from the previous day. Transfer over any tasks you did not complete to today’s checklist.
    • Check email and respond to each important one received.
    • Check announcements. Write down things you need to do.
    • Check gradebook for feedback and comments from your facilitators. Write down any assignments you need to redo or fix.
    • Check calendar.
    • Check agenda for that week.
    • Make a list of all coursework, assignments, discussions, and projects you need to work on today.

Posted on March 18, 2020 in iLEAD Digest

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Effective date: August 29, 2019

Maker Learning Network (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://ileadschools.org/ website (the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data.

We use your data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, the terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from the Service.

Information Collection and Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Data”). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

We may use your Personal Data to contact you with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to you. You may opt out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from us by following the unsubscribe link or the instructions provided in any email we send.

Usage Data

We may also collect information on how the Service is accessed and used (“Usage Data”). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Service and we hold certain information.

Cookies are files with a small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Other tracking technologies are also used such as beacons, tags and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyse our Service.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.

Examples of Cookies we use:

Use of Data

Maker Learning Network uses the collected data for various purposes:

Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA), Maker Learning Network legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described in this Privacy Policy depends on the Personal Data we collect and the specific context in which we collect it.

Maker Learning Network  may process your Personal Data because:

Retention of Data

Maker Learning Network will retain your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

Maker Learning Network will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of our Service, or we are legally obligated to retain this data for longer periods.

Transfer of Data

Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to – and maintained on – computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ from those of your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Maker Learning Network will take all the steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your Personal Data will take place to an organisation or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Data

Business Transaction

If Maker Learning Network is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Disclosure for Law Enforcement

Under certain circumstances, Maker Learning Network may be required to disclose your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Legal Requirements

Maker Learning Network may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

Security of Data

The security of your data is important to us but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Our Policy on “Do Not Track” Signals under the California Online Protection Act (CalOPPA)

We do not support Do Not Track (“DNT”). Do Not Track is a preference you can set in your web browser to inform websites that you do not want to be tracked.

You can enable or disable Do Not Track by visiting the Preferences or Settings page of your web browser.

Your Data Protection Rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you have certain data protection rights. Maker Learning Network aims to take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete or limit the use of your Personal Data.

If you wish to be informed about what Personal Data we hold about you and if you want it to be removed from our systems, please contact us.

In certain circumstances, you have the following data protection rights:

Please note that we may ask you to verify your identity before responding to such requests.

You have the right to complain to a Data Protection Authority about our collection and use of your Personal Data. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service (“Service Providers”), provide the Service on our behalf, perform Service-related services or assist us in analysing how our Service is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.


We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyse the use of our Service.

Behavioral Remarketing

Maker Learning Network uses remarketing services to advertise on third party websites to you after you visited our Service. We and our third-party vendors use cookies to inform, optimise and serve ads based on your past visits to our Service.

Links to Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 (“Children”).

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Child has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “effective date” at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us:

Important information regarding confidential student data

There is ongoing litigation between the California Department of Education and the Concerned Parent Association. A notice issued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson states, “The lawsuit accuses CDE of widespread, systemic non-compliance by local educational agencies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.”

The court has ordered CDE to release student and parent information to provide personally identifiable information (PII) – an act that can only be taken as an exception to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As a result, we are providing notice of the court order and directions to anyone wishing to object.

Please be advised that CDE will notify parents or students of whom are required to disclose information and those individuals may object directly to the court regarding this disclosure using the PDF link below:


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