Indy online student shares message of hope for teens navigating e-learning

Online learning tips

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Monday starts the second week of e-learning for most students in Indiana.

Many are still adapting and learning to navigate the change, but for some students, e-learning is part of their everyday routine.

Bella Lazarides is an 8th grade student at Hoosier Academy, an online charter school blending virtual learning with traditional schooling.

Lazarides made the switch from Mt Vernon Middle School to Hoosier Academy last year. Both Lazarides and her mom Kimberly Stancombe admit e-learning takes time to get used to, but they also say students may find some surprising benefits.

“I’m a teenager, socializing can be hard for me. So just being able to shut out the noise and let my mind focus really helped me,” said Lazarides.

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Stancombe, who has a government job and is able to work from home says getting used to the technology was the most difficult.

“Other than a few days of e-learning during emergencies, we were both new to this,” said Stancombe.

The family turned to Facebook groups and the school for help on downloading software and plugins and within a week they were up and running.

Now, Lazarides wants other teens to remember that during this time, it’s important to take a deep breath.

“Just breathe, take it one day at a time, you will see your friends again,” the student added.

Lazarides also says sticking to a schedule really helped her, especially in the morning. So did taking breaks and asking for help.

“The teachers can’t go through the screen and be like ‘oh you’re struggling’, they don’t know that, so just ask questions,” she said.

In less than one year of e-learning, Lazarides’s grades improved and she is now a straight-A student with awards hanging on the fridge.

“It’s really helped her so much, so you may start to like e-learning!” said Stancombe.