Skip to main content

Remote Learning

Tips & Tools for Students

Student Gmail Information

Miller Creek School District students all have Gmail accounts.  Really. You've got one. These accounts are managed and monitored by school district employees who work in the Technology Department. 

When you learn in the cloud, you will need to check your District Gmail account every day for information from your teachers and other adults about coursework, lessons, and/or content.   All elementary-aged students, with support from a parent or guardian, should check their District Gmail account every day.  All middle school and high school students should check their District Gmail account every day, too. Gmail is going to be an important tool for getting the information you need to successfully learn in the cloud.  And if you need help using Gmail, Miller Creek School District educators can support you.

As a reminder, here's how you can access your District Gmail account:

  • Use any browser to access Gmail.  You can go to Chrome and type in Gmail.
  • Click on Gmail and log in using the following information:
    • First 2 letters of first name, first two letters of last name, birth day, and birth year@mcsd-stu.org  (example: josm1105@mcsd-stu.org)
    • Your password should be your district login password or your default password which is your student ID + first three of first name (example: 12345joh)

Establishing Your Learning Routine and Preparing Your Learning Space

Checking your District Gmail account every day is one thing.  Following through on all that you'll need to do at home when you're engaging in virtual learning is another.  If you've already set yourself up with good study habits, those habits will support learning in the cloud. Here are some things to think about when you engage in online learning:

  • Have a daily routine.  Stick to it.  Ask your parent or another important adult to help you develop your schedule if you need assistance.  Be sure your routine includes breaks, time to be active, and time to eat lunch.
  • Have a learning space.  Use this space when it's time to learn.

Be sure your learning space includes what you need to learn.  You'll need a computer, iPad, Chromebook, or other device.  You'll need paper, pencils and/or pens. You'll need tools to help you with math like a calculator, ruler, compass, and possibly manipulatives like counters.  You'll need your textbooks, trade books, composition notebooks, or any other curriculum materials that your teacher provides.

Don't be surprised when your parent or guardian asks you to make your learning space in a shared area of your home like at the kitchen table, a large kitchen counter, or a desk in a living room or family room.  The reality is that when your learning space is separate from your bedroom and distanced from the television, it triggers your brain that the space is for work and not play.  You really will be more productive.  And, like it or not, an online learning space in a shared area allows the adult(s) in your home to readily support your learning while also monitoring your online activity.  (Yes, they get to see what you do.)

Building a Daily Schedule

If you're wondering about the idea of a daily routine, keep reading...

More and more adults are able to work remotely.  In fact, some adults have jobs that are done entirely through virtual means.  These adults all have daily schedules or routines they use to help them stay focused and on task.  When you learn in the cloud, you're going to need to think about this too. To develop your daily schedule, think about what it's like during a typical school day.  Think about how teachers post schedules in the classroom or how bells remind students and staff when class is over. Think about your ability to stay focused and how long you know you can reasonably devote your full attention to a task.  Below is a sample daily schedule.  Your schedule will look different depending upon your family dynamics and your personal learning needs.

  • 07:30 AM - Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, etc.
  • 08:15 AM - Organize learning space, turn on computer/device, log into Gmail
  • 08:30 AM - Review daily Gmail announcement from teacher(s) and get necessary learning materials (books, workbooks, etc.)
  • 08:45 AM - Engage in first virtual session or chat session or video tutorial or whatever the topic is for the day
  • 09:30 AM - Begin assignments
  • 10:00 AM - Take quick stretch and nutrition break
  • 10:15 AM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required
  • 11:00 AM - Check Gmail for any additional announcements
  • 11:15 AM - Lunch and movement (Take a walk. Dance. Do jumping jacks. Run. Follow an online workout routine.  Just move!)
  • 12:00 PM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required
  • 01:00 PM - Engage in second virtual session or chat session or video tutorial or whatever you know you've been asked to do
  • 01:45 PM - Take a quick stretch and nutrition break
  • 02:00 PM - Return to assignments, keep working, document learning in whatever way is required
  • 03:00 PM - Summarize your learning in whatever way your teacher(s) have requested, and submit your evidence online
  • 03:45 PM - Pat yourself on the back for a full day of virtual learning

Learning in the cloud is just as challenging and rigorous as a day of learning in the classroom.  Learning just happens in a different place. Like in school, your daily schedule might be a bit different on each day of the week.  There will be certain things such as your stretch and nutrition breaks as well as your lunchtime that you'll probably want to keep consistent.  What might change are the times you hop online for video sessions or online chats. The more time you spend learning virtually, the more you'll know about what works best for you in terms of keeping focused and on task. 

Being an Active Learner and Advocating for Your Learning Needs

Getting used to an online learning environment and participating in virtual learning might take a little while.  Some people will love it right away. Others might need some time to get used to how to participate in live video sessions or use a chat room.  If you're an "early adopter," be patient and remain kind to those who will take longer to adjust to a virtual learning environment. If you're one of the people who isn't as comfortable with technology or online learning as your peers, it's okay.  Stay positive. Be persistent.

Sharing Your Learning

Your teacher(s) are going to want to know whether you are learning what they intend for you to learn.  So you're going to need to figure out how to share your learning with them. When you check your Gmail messages every day, you will probably find out how your teacher will want you to demonstrate your learning.  Be prepared to be asked to:

  • Complete a Google Quiz;
  • Submit a document into your personal Google folder;
  • Take a picture of your work and upload it into a Google folder or email it to your teacher;
  • Record a video that shows how you are able to do something;
  • Email a message summarizing your learning;
  • Engage in a Chat session; or
  • Engage in an online video "Office Hour".

There might be other ways your teacher(s) will want to check on your progress.  If you have an idea, let them know!

Technology Resources

Troubleshooting WiFi Connections

District computing devices are configured to allow connections to home and public WiFi networks. The MCSD Technology Department is unable to provide support for home networks. However, here are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can try before checking with your ISP or network hardware manufacturer’s website for support links.

  1. Restart your computer or mobile device.

  2. Try connecting to your home Wi-Fi network again.

  3. Ensure that you are entering the correct Wi-Fi password.

  4. Try connecting to another wireless network such as a coffee shop Wi-Fi network or public library Wi-Fi network and see if you can connect successfully.

If you are still unable to connect to your home Wi-Fi, please check with your ISP or network hardware manufacturer’s website for support links.

Support Links to Local Internet Service Providers (ISP)

Support Links to Network Hardware Manufacturers