Connections, Expertise and Education

Virtual Learning: Helpful Back-to-School Tips

August 12, 2020
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Advice from Interns Who Experienced It & Educational Experts  

Each year, the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. Enterprise embarks on an internship program, but due to the times we’re now living in, this summer has been a little different. In honor of BacktoSchool and International Youth Day, we asked our interns about their school year in regards to virtual learning as well as their virtual internship experience. We think their learnings can be helpful to students and teachers as they head back to the classroom, whether virtually or in person. 

In addition to speaking to our interns who have experienced virtual learning firsthand, there are also tons of educational resources to help get you comfortable, with tips ranging from making checklists and reducing distractions, to encouraging movement and giving positive feedback.  

As our Founder Jim McCann said, “Be curious. Every interaction gives you a chance to learn, to adjust your perspective, and get a new insight.During this time, its so important we work together and learn from each other and we hope you find these back-to-school tips helpful 

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Virtual Learning: Overcoming Challenges & Experiencing Success 

Like many things, virtual learning comes with its challenges. Below, our interns share what they found challenging in the virtual learning environment, along with tips on how to adapt and succeed. 

Question Asked to Interns: Please share your experience with virtual learning and how you overcame any challenges, in addition to big wins you experienced.  

 It took a little time to get used to virtual learning. There were many awkward silences and long pauses. After a few weeks, it felt normal. Class discussions picked up. Teachers were available for oneonone Zoom meetings to answer any questions. One big win from virtual learning was that it prepared me for a virtual internship. Teams and Zoom meetings felt completely normal after the spring semester which made it easy to transition into a virtual internship.Nick, Marketing Intern

When it came to learning virtually, the most important thing I had to do was adapt. Switching to the online setting, I found it best to designate a room in my house to do my work and focus on anything school or work related. – Zack, Accounting Intern

It was hard to separate school from normal life because I would attend class in my room, so I felt like I was thinking about class 24/7. I decided to start a 9-5 schedule for school and that helped a lot. We also became a lot more techsavvy by doing everything online. – Mattie, Social Media Intern 

“Learning in school virtually is definitely difficult because the resources I am used to having are no long as easy to access. However, I took this time to become better at communicating over email. I reached out to professors frequently, which allowed me to get the help I needed. It is also helpful that my classes consist of a lot of coding, which makes the burden of learning over the computer a bit less difficult.” – Laura, Analytics Intern

 How to Stay Connected  

 From FaceTime to engaging in more family activitiesone thing is certain: staying connected during these times is important. Below, our interns share their favorite ways to keep in touch. 

Question Asked to Interns: How are you staying connected with friendsfamilyteachers, and fellow students during this time? 

 This strange time in the world has brought my family together for the longest time in a while. We are usually never living in the same house for an extended period of time. COVID changed that. We stay connected through family dinners and activities. My friends and I see each other in backyards from a distance. I am also able to keep in touch with them via social media and FaceTime. One thing I am grateful for is being surrounded by my family. It has been nice to spend so much time with them over the past few months, even though we sometimes get on each other’s nerves.” – Nick, Marketing Intern

Zoom is probably the main way I stay in touch with friends. Every Wednesday since we’ve been home, some school friends and I play trivia online to stay entertained. FaceTiming is also common amongst me and my friends. – Zack, Accounting Intern

Snapchat and Instagram are the biggest ways we’ve been staying connected. As well as sending TikTok videos and FaceTime. I’ve been FaceTiming and calling people way more during this time, which has been nice. – Mattie, Social Media Intern 

“I take a lot of time to communicate with my friends and family over social media. I also partake in Zoom calls with my friends in big groups. A few friends and I also took the opportunity to take some outdoor walks to hang out while social distancing.” – Laura, Analytics Intern 

We’re All in This Together: Learning from Each Other & Teaching One Another 

 Virtual learning is different for everyone. But remember that students aren’t the only ones going back to school! Don’t forget to show your teachers and parents appreciation during these challenging times. Send them a free back-to-school e-card to show them how much their support means to you.  

Question Asked to Interns: How can parents help their kids to learn during this time, knowing what you know now? 

 I think the most important advice parents can tell their kids is to be patient. Especially when it comes to WiFi issues. I had plenty of WiFi issues throughout my virtual learning and internship experience. Network issues are out of the students control and teachers understand this. It is also important for students to stay focused even though there are distractions at home. Time management is key. – Nick, Marketing Intern

The best thing for anyone to have during this time, including parents, is patience. Things are clearly not always going to go as planned, so it is important for parents to support their children during these tough times.Zack, Accounting Intern

“Parents can help their kids during this time by being a support system. It is important to be supportive while your kid is struggling during such a confusing time.” – Laura, Analytics Intern 

Thank You #LocalHero Teachers Everywhere  

We conclude this article with a huge thank you to all of the teachers who are local heroes in the communities they serve. Do you know a #LocalHero? Share your story with us on social!