by Jennifer Hughes

This year, many Rapides Parish students will embark on a new path to education. While student success is always a concern, a new environment of online learning may compound those worries. However, with the right skills, resources and support, students can benefit from a virtual schooling arrangement. A wise student can avoid the common pitfalls of poor time management and lack of interaction by utilizing all their Rapides Parish Library has to offer!

Virtual learning offers flexibility that allows students to schedule learning around other activities. Without good time management skills, though, this flexibility can be disastrous for accomplishing educational goals. Adults assisting students can help to foster good time management skills by helping students review class expectations, assignments, grading rubrics and available technology and resources. Using as a one-stop shop for e-books, research databases and video tutorials is a great first step in managing a student’s time. Create an organized study schedule and set goals. Designate a specific time period to study and a clear study-space with the required learning materials, including bookmarked links to the best databases, which are readily available.

Active participation is another key to learning success. When communicating in virtual schoolrooms, regardless of the platform, students will learn from one another, receive clarification of assignments, and gain better understanding of the material. Since caregivers are often the students’ most influential teachers, social interactions for class should not be limited to online discussion. If the caregiver is seen pursuing knowledge on their own, reading, using databases and being an active learner, students are more likely to have positive educational opinions and outcomes. Caregivers play a critical, supportive role by serving as educational examples and by helping the students understand the assignments and providing feedback as well.

Your Rapides Parish Library offers a variety of online resources and services to support learning, including free live tutoring through Homework Louisiana, Scienceflix, World Book, databases, e-books, e-audiobooks, digital magazines, news sources, printing services and more. If students need a virtual library card to access these services, please e-mail their full name and date of birth to

The Rapides Parish Library staff and administration remain committed to providing the educational resources necessary to build a brighter future for all residents of Rapides Parish; we encourage anyone who needs assistance with digital resources to contact their branch of preference.

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