ASU Prep Digital Middle Schoolers Walk for a Cause–Arizona Visionwalk

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On April 24th, ASU Prep Digital middle schoolers involved in the National Junior Honor Society program participated in the 2021 Arizona Visionwalk. The 5k event inspires students to walk for a cause, banding together to show their commitment to the Foundation Fighting Blindness‘ mission: to find treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases.

Pictured: Bonding with Guide dog Nebraska, ASU team Hooligrants (Robb and Sarah Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Chavez, Madelyn Chavez, Haylee Reed, Mrs. Reed and sister. Grant Williams and Guide Dog Nebraska), Hailey Reed being presented with a braille coaster for her fundraising efforts.

 

On Saturday morning, “The Hooligrants” Team, made up of ten members including guide dog, Nebraska, donned matching t-shirts and began their walk. In total, the team raised about $350 for the foundation. Team member Haylee Reed, raised the most money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness $285 and received a braille ASU coaster for her fundraising efforts.

Thanks to all of the students (and dogs) who participated in the 2021 Visionwalk! We are looking forward to next year’s fundraising event! Interested in participating next year? Visit the Visionwalk website to join a team!

ASU Prep Digital Helped High Schooler Zero in on Film

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*This story was originally posted on ASU News*

Chelsea Seletewa is a senior attending ASU Prep Digital. While living on the Hopi reservation in northern Arizona, she has become a member of the Sun Devil community.

Seletewa decided she wanted more from school. She transitioned to online high school about a year ago so that she could take courses that aligned with her future career goals, including a course about filmmaking.

“The high school in my area didn’t have a good reputation,” Seletewa said. “They weren’t preparing students for life beyond high school. My mom’s friend mentioned prep digital at ASU, and I went for it,” she said.

Seletewa’s decision to get involved with ASU Prep Digital and take their filmmaking course came after she worked on making a short film with a professional filmmaker. The short film was a documentary about three different generations of her family: herself, her father, and her grandmother. She learned a lot about her family’s history and about how life was different for each generation. She also realized the importance of spending time with family, and she was able to deepen connections with her family members.

“I asked them questions about how their lives were different. I compared it to how my life is now with them in it,” Seletewa said. “I learned a lot from my grandma. I guess I should sit down with them more often to learn about our family.”

The storytelling experience gave Seletewa a glimpse of what it would be like to make films professionally, and she’s now planning to pursue a career in film or animation.

Completing her high school education from home has been challenging but rewarding for Seletewa. After about a month of taking online courses, she found a routine that works for her. Finding a source of motivation and focusing on it has helped her stay committed to completing her coursework.

“Motivation is a big factor, and you hear it a lot in online school,” Seletewa said. “Learn that your teachers aren’t going to sit there and teach you. It is a self-learning process that you have to get used to.”

Persistence has been key for Seletewa, and she said her Learning Success Coach has been extremely helpful. She has had the same Learning Success Coach for her entire online schooling experience. These coaches help students with goal-setting and planning, and they are available to help any ASU Prep Digital student.

Seletewa shared that it’s important for her to be independent and responsible, but it’s just as important to ask for help when she needs it.

She is currently taking six classes, and she attends the live lectures for each class whenever she can. Her advice to anyone transitioning to online schooling is to be patient with themselves.

“One of the big things is to not get discouraged when you’re starting out because, of course, it will take a while to adapt,” Seletewa said. “It took me almost a month to adapt to actual online school.”

As the world enters the new year, many are still stuck behind a computer screen. Seletewa was used to the online format. However, she felt for those who were thrown into it without any preparation.

“I heard when schools shut down it was hard for them to get back in the flow of things because they don’t know what online schooling is like,” she said. “I was already used to it, so I think I had an advantage. It was interesting to see people around me struggling.”

She offers some advice for those her age who are struggling to maintain their grades during this unprecedented time. She also recommends going to live lectures in order to connect with other classmates and make friends.

“It was hard for me. I was going through a lot when I started online. I think for everyone if your grades drop it becomes really hard to keep them up, but it is really important to keep going at it and to watch out for your mental health.”

Written by Claire Muranaka and Annika Tourlas, ASU Student Life. Reporting by Hannah Moulton Belec.

Healthy Habits to Implement in 2021

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January is a great time to set goals for the year and develop habits that will allow you to live a happier, healthier life. Taking steps to focus on your mental and physical health will help you in all areas of your life, including your education! It can be difficult to give your energy to school work when you’re feeling physically sick or mentally drained. Check out a few healthy habits you can implement in 2021:

Prioritize Sleep

Do you know how much sleep you should be getting every night? It differs in each age group, and sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your productivity and energy levels. According to the National Sleep Foundation, ages 14-17 should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, and ages 6-13 should get 9-11 hours of sleep each night. In addition to improving focus and energy throughout the day, getting enough sleep will also help with improving and maintaining muscle memory—which is a bonus for study sessions! If you have trouble falling asleep, try winding down an hour before you want to sleep by shutting down electronic devices and reading a book or journaling.

Move for 30 Minutes a Day

Being an online student means getting to complete classwork from the comfort of your bed, which is the best. But you can’t forget to get up every once in a while! Exercising for even 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, and taking breaks can help you refocus on the task at hand. Check out a yoga workout on YouTube, start your day with a jog around your neighborhood, or take your dog on an extra-long walk to get your body moving.

Practice Gratitude

It’s no secret that the last several months have been challenging, and it can be easy to focus on the negative. However, dwelling on the things we can’t control can be daunting, not to mention detrimental to our mental health. One of the best healthy habits you can implement this year is practicing gratitude, which can be as easy as writing down what you’re grateful for every day or choosing a positive affirmation to be your daily mantra. Finding even a few positive things to give thanks for will keep you motivated and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Get Organized

The easiest way to declutter your mind and space is to utilize organizational tools. Not only will you feel more productive, but you’ll also be able to make more time for yourself and the things you love to do. Start by getting a planner or downloading a planner app, such as Calendly or iStudiez, and use it to keep track of assignments, deadlines, and meetings. At the beginning of each week, write down everything that needs to be done and break it up into smaller goals that can be tackled each day. Completing bite-sized goals on a daily basis will help you avoid burnout and give you time to do other things, too!

 

Check out these other posts for other healthy habits and tools to add to your routine this year:

 

Time Management Tools and Tips for Online Students

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In order to be successful as an online learner, there is one important skill students should master: time management. Because students have the freedom to complete coursework at their own pace, it’s imperative that they learn how to utilize their time effectively to ensure they get everything done without overwhelming themselves. Here are some time management tools and tips for online students:

 

Use a planner

One of the best ways to keep yourself organized is to use a planner. Having one place to jot down assignments and important deadlines will keep you on track. There are so many planners to choose from, whether you want a digital or physical version. Many companies, such as The Happy Planner and BlueSky, allow you to personalize your planner depending on your needs. You can also choose to utilize an app, such as Wunderlist or myHomework Student Planner, which will enable you to create daily to-do lists and get reminders for any upcoming tests or assignments. You can find more planner apps here.

 

Set SMART goals

A component of having strong time management skills is being able to focus on the current task at hand. It isn’t enough to carve out the time to get something done—you want your time to be spent effectively. This is where SMART goals come in handy. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely, and this formula is designed to help you stay on task and work toward something achievable. For example, if you want to achieve a higher grade in a certain class, you can break it up into smaller, easily manageable goals throughout the semester, such as committing to doing your homework assignments every school night from 6 to 8 pm, or studying every other night for two hours before watching your favorite show. Be sure to work with your teachers to ensure you’re setting realistic goals and keep track of your progress!

 

Eliminate distractions

You can plan your day and have all of your assignments laid out to complete. But if you’re surrounded by things that make it hard to focus, chances are you won’t get much done. On top of creating a dedicated workspace that’s free of distractions, it helps to identify what your biggest distractions are. If you like to mindlessly swipe on your phone or browse the web, consider setting an alarm for ‘social media breaks’ or using apps to help limit your social media usage. There are even Google Chrome extensions, such as StayFocused and Block Site, that you can use to temporarily block access to distracting websites while you work on your laptop. And if being at home makes it harder to get your work done, that’s okay! Try heading to a local coffee shop or library for a change of scenery. 

 

Take breaks

It can be easy to work for hours on end when you’re completing coursework at home in your pajamas. But it’s important to take breaks! Working for too long can cause burnout and make it harder to complete your tasks. Scheduling downtime throughout the day will give your mind and body the break it needs, whether it’s taking a walk, having a snack, or snuggling your pet! Divide your day into easily manageable sections, whether it’s based on class subjects or specific assignments, and set a timer so you know when to stop and rest.

 

Looking for additional resources on time management and achieving success as an online student? Check out these other posts:

How to End the Semester Strong

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As you begin counting down the days to the end of another semester, now’s the crucial time when some ‘A’s are made and others undone. Focus on your assignments, work hard and the last day will be upon you soon enough. In the meantime, here are 3 helpful tips on how to end the semester strong.

Stay on track

So far, you’ve been studious, passed your tests and have the grades to prove it. Don’t slack now just because the end of the semester is near. Stay focused on your studies; there are still enough tests and assignments left to skew your grades if you perform poorly. To ensure you stay on top of your classes, keep a close eye on your calendar of due dates, continue studying with your peers and make the time to give every assignment your full attention. Finish strong!

Refresh your study techniques

With summer just around the corner, it can be tough to stay focused while you study for your last few tests. Consider changing up your techniques in order to reinvigorate your studying and end the semester strong. Join a study group, study in a new location or create a game to help you memorize material. If you haven’t already, determine what type of learning style you prefer—visual, auditory, kinesthetic or reading/writing—and try a new technique that targets that specific style. Switching your routine can make learning more engaging and effective. For more ideas, check out Three Study Tips for Online Students.

Thank those that helped you along the way

When the last assignment is turned in, the final test is finished and your semester is officially over, don’t forget to recognize those that helped you get through all the late nights, tough assignments and difficult lessons. It could be your mom or dad, your teacher, a study buddy or even just a friend that cheered you up during stressful moments. Whoever was there to offer a hand, there’s no better way to guarantee their support next semester than to thank them.

You’ve worked hard all semester and the finish line is in sight. Remember to stay on track with your hard work, refresh your study habits and thank your faithful support system. You’re on your way to end the semester strong and set yourself up for an even stronger one next time.

Want more tips to help you pass your classes with flying colors? Check out these helpful blog posts:

 

 

Three Study Tips for Online Students

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Online learning offers students the freedom to learn from anywhere, at any time. Enjoy the flexibility of earning a quality education without sacrificing your other priorities. But with so much to do in a day, you don’t want to waste a second when it comes to studying. Here are three study tips to help you study efficiently and effectively so you can get back to your other passions in life:

Use Your Resources

Studying can be an overwhelming task at first. To stay organized, consider making yourself a study plan. A solid plan starts way before the exam date. Waiting until the night before (a.k.a. cramming) is not only stressful, but has been proven an ineffective way to retain information in your long-term memory. So start early and continue your momentum with a calendar and to-do list. Both will keep you accountable and on-track throughout your study process. The final component to an effective study plan is to stick with it until the end. When you sit down for your exam, you’ll be well-prepared and confident in your performance. 

Our teachers and Learning Success Coaches at ASU Prep Digital are also valuable resources when it comes time to study. While your teachers can help you brush up on your understanding of a topic, your Learning Success Coach is happy to work with you to devise a plan so you’re ready for test day.

In addition to these resources, many of your courses have convenient discussion boards and live video lessons that you may use any time to brush up on course content. Not only are these tools helpful for reviewing information, but may also be used to get to know your classmates!

Find Some Study Buddies

Speaking of classmates, your peers are an invaluable resource you should consider utilizing. Studying with a group not only creates accountability, but also helps you retain what you learn. That’s because when you have to teach something to others, it’s been shown to actually deepen your own knowledge of that subject.  

At ASU Prep Digital, you’re encouraged to connect with your peers in a variety of ways, making it easy to form a study group! Whether you’re starting a group chat with your classmates or meeting people in one of the many clubs we offer, you’re bound to find people you can bond with while preparing for your exams.

Get Enough Sleep

The night before a big test, you might be tempted to forgo sleep in order to stay up late cramming in as much information as possible. However, this could do more harm than good. Research shows that when you get enough sleep (approximately 8 to 9 hours), your brain is better able to strengthen the connections around something you’ve recently learned. So, resist the temptation. Make time for a good night’s sleep so by the time you wake up on the day of your exam, your brain is equipped with the retention and recall to pass with flying colors.

When it comes to studying in an online learning environment, you want to set yourself up for an effective and efficient use of your time. With the above tips, you can maximize that time so that you not only master your exams, but have time leftover to focus on the other things that matter to you.

Interested in learning more about tips to being successful in online learning? Check out the posts below:

 

How to Set Yourself Up For Success – Junior Year

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With the first two years of high school behind you, it’s time to embark on your junior year! This is arguably the most important year of your high school career as colleges will be paying attention to the grades you earn in your classes, the scores you achieve on the ACT and/or SAT, and the extracurricular activities you’re involved in. It may sound intimidating, but we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to set yourself up for success this year:

Prepare for and take the ACT/SAT

Your ACT/SAT scores are one of the most important factors when it comes to college applications, so you want to score well to ensure you have a better chance of getting accepted. You’ll register to take the exams during the spring semester of your junior year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start prepping now.

You can sign up to take the PSAT during the fall, which will give you a good indication of what areas you need to improve on. You can also enroll in a test prep course, which is designed to go over all the sections you’ll see on the tests. ASU Prep Digital offers this course and you can find it here.

Keep your grades up

It’s important to consistently have good grades each year, but the stakes get a little higher when you get to 11th grade. When you apply for colleges in the beginning of senior year, you’ll be sending your junior year transcript along with your application—and colleges can deny you entry if you don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement. If you’ve been earning good grades consistently, maintain that momentum through junior and senior year. If you haven’t been performing as well as you’d like to, it’s not too late! This is the year to make strides in your academic career.

Enroll in college courses

One way you can make your college applications stand out next year is by enrolling in college courses during your junior year. Universities like to see that you can handle a more rigorous course load, and earning college credit while still in high school helps you save time and money before you even begin your freshman year. At ASU Prep Digital, full-time Arizona high school students are eligible to enroll in two university courses per semester through ASU, for free. Check out our college course catalog here.

Start thinking about potential majors

You might not be applying to college for another year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about what you might want to study in college. Write down a few of your hobbies and look up majors that would allow you to further explore your interests. ASU Prep Digital students can explore different career pathways and enroll in college courses based on majors they’re interested in, such as engineering, business, or communication. Check out the different career pathways here.

 

Still looking for a school to enroll in? ASU Prep Digital is accepting applications until September 9 for students to begin a compressed semester starting on September 16. Schedule a call with an advisor and get started here.