The years 2020-21 have changed the way education was designed for students. With schools & universities shut across the world, millions of children have had to adapt to online learning.
As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information, and take less time, meaning the changes coronavirus has caused might be here to stay.
With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic, and how such a shift would impact the worldwide education market. This has made many companies look at Distance learning solutions and a new hybrid model of education.
Advances in technology now allow students to study entirely online while still socializing with classmates, watching lectures and participating in subject-specific discussions.
While some consider online learning to require a greater degree of self-motivation, institutions recognize that educational support is just as important as tutor feedback, and take great care to ensure that their students receive the same levels of support that they would receive on campus.
Having a space for learning helps establish a routine, gives students a place to keep learning materials, and helps keep them focused on learning. However, that is not always possible.
Despite studying going completely digital, students are trying to maintain a somewhat normal school schedule. We spoke to a few school and college students to find out about their routines and requirements for the most conducive online learning and that helped us in getting together the list of 20 essentials needed for online learning.
1. Reliable Internet Access
The Biggest challenge of online learning is unreliable internet access/technology to participate in digital learning. In case you don’t have a reliable internet connection, it might be time to change your internet provider. You must check out Jio Fiber and Airtel plans
2. Laptop/ Tablet/ Chromebook
You need some kind of electronic device for accessing work online. A tablet, Chromebook, laptop, or home computer is essential for online learning.
The need for a good or rather a functional laptop has never been felt as much before the Coronavirus phase. Just for attending online classes and doing basic word processing, making Powerpoint presentations or working on Excel or Sheet, the Laptop has become the almost must-have gadget. The important things to consider while buying a laptop is the processor, RAM, storage, display size and battery life. Once you prioritize these you can consider which one fits your budget.
Touchpads and touchscreens are very common, so you might be wondering why a mouse is an important supply for you this year. A mouse can make it easier for you to participate in distance learning because it’s easier to use. Tasks like scrolling and “clicking” are made simpler with the buttons on a mouse.
Logitech B170 Wireless Mouse. Bestseller at Amazon.
4. Bluetooth Speakers
New innovations in technology mean that Bluetooth speakers are inexpensive but provide excellent sound quality. This speaker connects wirelessly via Bluetooth to your favorite devices, eliminating the need for any additional cords. These are small but play loud and clear, making it great for both indoor and outdoor class activities. The Mivi Play wireless speaker packs a battery life of up to 12 long hours.
Mivi Play Bluetooth Speaker with 12 Hours Playtime. Bestseller at Amazon.
Whether your course lessons are audio only, voice over slides/screen sharing, or live video, it is very important to use a good microphone to record your voice. Even if you have great content, if your audio quality is poor or the audio has become garbled, your assignments and grades will suffer & the entire learning experience will break down. The last thing a student wants is to be distracted or lose patience when grades are on the line.
Boya BYM1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Condenser Microphone. Bestseller at Amazon.
6. Wireless Headphones
Schooling from home and enduring classes on Zoom calls for a pair of good-quality headphones. When you’re listening to a lecture, the people around you probably won’t want to hear it, whether you’re at home, in a library or at a coffee shop. Getting a set of earphones or earbuds will help ensure you don’t disturb those around you, and can also drown out outside noise to minimize distractions. However, doctor’s advise against continuous listening at higher sound volume for long hours as it is weakening the listening ability and causing ear infection. So make sure to take off your headphones and give your ears a timely break. Wireless headphones also make multitasking easier without missing out on classes.
Fire-Boltt Blast 1400 Over -Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with 25H Playtime. Bestseller at Amazon.
7. Wireless Display Dongle
The wireless display dongle Mirrors content from your Smartphone/Tablet/Laptop to HDMI devices such as TV and projectors. This helps you to study on a larger screen without being confined to a desk and chair.
iBest Wireless Display Dongle 1080P Mini Receiver Sharing. Available at Amazon.
8. Ergonomic Chair
Unlike in a traditional school/ college where students tend to move from one classroom to another, you may find yourself sitting in one spot for a while as you engage in online learning. With this in mind, you should have a comfortable chair that you can adjust to the right level to see your computer easily. 2 Dimensional Lumbar Support which is Height Adjustable and depth Adjustable is the most important feature for perfect ergonomics of the chair. With the lumbar support, one can receive proper back support, and hence there is no scope of back pain due to prolonged usages designed according back.
Style Ergonomic Chair. Bestseller at Pepperfry.
9. Computer Table
You might not have a room at home designated to online learning. However this small folding desk will find place in your house for you to have your own study corner. Specially Crafted for compact homes, the range is clean and convenient and has an understated design aesthetic that adapts to any space.
Sato Folding Writing Desk. Bestseller at Pepperfry.
Even though many assignments can be submitted online, you may want to print items for your records or to access offline. Printing a syllabus for each course and keeping it within easy reach also assists with organization.
HP Deskjet 2331 Colour Printer, Scanner and Copier for Home/Small Office. Bestseller at Amazon.
11. Desk Organizer
Much of your work will be done on the computer, but you will still want items such as pens, pencils, highlighters, binders and notebook paper on hand. Depending on the courses you take, you may also need to purchase textbooks and supplemental texts.
CRISELL Wooden Office Desk Organizers and Accessories. Available at Amazon.
12. Tablet Holder
These stands are perfect for holding a tablet in the correct position while distance learning. With a tablet holder, your hands are free for writing and finishing assignments.
Remixmart 2-in-1 Multi-Purpose Tablet Holder Stand. Available on Amazon.
Whether you set a timer with Alexa, or use your electronic device to set a timer; setting a timer is a helpful way to know how much time you have left for each task. This can help discourage procrastination and encourage students to stay focused on the task at hand. Sometimes looking at the timer and knowing you only have 2 minutes left is enough to keep you motivated just a bit longer.
Baskety Digital Kitchen Timer. Available at Amazon.
If your device isn’t already equipped with a camera, you’ll definitely want to invest in a webcam for distance learning this year. Face to face interaction with the teacher is important for optimal learning. Without a camera, classes will be one-sided and you may end up feeling left out of the learning in an online classroom setting.
Lenovo™ 300 FHD Webcam. Available at Amazon.
15. Flash Drive
If your electronic device has limited storage, you may want to consider having access to a storage cloud or flash drive for saving assignments and resources this year. A flash drive is a relatively inexpensive way to provide storage that can be accessed from any device. Even with lots of storage space, backing up important assignments on a flash drive or storage cloud is never a bad idea.
SanDisk Cruzer Blade 32GB USB Flash Drive. Available at Amazon.
16. NESCAFÉ É Smart Coffee Maker
Keeping yourself alert and awake while spending hours online has been made easier by É by NESCAFÉ by introducing this All-in-one bluetooth coffee mug with a Bluetooth docking station for easy coffee preparation. Easily controlled through an app. You can have your favourite hot or cold coffee ready in 90 seconds. The Thermal insulation mug keeps your drink warm or cold while you learn.
Available at Amazon.
17. Desk Light
A good desk light will save you from eye strain and headaches. As you get older, your eyes need more light to be able to focus better on the task at hand. However, starting young is the key to keeping your eyes healthy. Warm color temperatures are soothing and make for nice atmosphere, while cooler color temperatures stimulate the brain and may increase productivity. Philips LED Desk lights use a matte diffuser and are designed to reduce glare, eye strain and eye fatigue.
Philips 61013 Breeze 5-Watt LED Desk light. Bestseller at Amazon.
18. Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Long time exposure to blue light leads to digital eye fatigue. Wearing blue light blocking glasses reduces eye strain and sensitivity to light when facing digital screens. Great for online learning or for anyone who has to look at screen all day. Exposure to high rate blue light also impacts our circadian rhythm and causes lnsomnia.
Peter Jones Round Anti Glare Reading Glasses. Bestseller at Amazon.
19. Desk Plant
While learning online, your desk is where you are spending the major part of your day, so you need to love your desk. One needs a desk that radiates positive energy that makes you want to sit longer so you can work harder. Big or small, you can always make room for some decor on your desk. Nothing brightens up a boring desk than a plant. Desk Plants require low maintenance, can handle low light, and thrive in warm environments. They also act as air purifiers.
Ugaoo Philodendron Broken Heart Plant with Self Watering Pot. Bestseller at Amazon.
20. Education Apps
It’s not necessary that best teachers can only be available in the classrooms. Let’s have a look at popular education apps which are making life a lot easier for students by offering the best virtual knowledge.
Meritnation Byju’s CBSE Guide Doubtnut