What Tech to Consider for Those Schooling from Home
Even before the Coronavirus pandemic, attending school virtually was becoming increasingly more common. Choosing the right technology is absolutely vital to the success of those who attend school remotely. If you're schooling from home, figuring out what tech out there is right for you will ensure that you can excel in the classroom---even if the classroom is your living room. Tech such as a laptop, a smartphone, and a solid pair of headphones will help set you up for success.
Of course, the most important piece of technology that you will need when you're attending school virtually is a computer. Many people opt to create a workstation in their home that includes a stationary desktop computer. A desktop has many advantages including a wide screen and an expansive hard drive. Most standard desktops are fairly affordable.
The major disadvantage of a desktop computer is that it is very hard to relocate. If you find your workstation is too noisy or full of distractions, it will be quite a bit of hassle moving your keyboard, mouse, monitor, and hard drive to a new location. Another disadvantage of a desktop is that there are a few different components---such as a keyboard and a monitor---that you may have to purchase separately. Depending on your field of study, a desktop may be a solid choice. If you're studying a subject that requires a large screen or running lots of involved software that requires a great deal of memory---a desktop is certainly your best option.
For most students, a laptop computer is the best option. Laptops are portable, affordable, and able to run virtually every program that a student attending school from home would ever need. A laptop computer includes a keyboard, a touchpad, speakers---essentially all of the components of the computer are included. A laptop computer allows you to attend school from any point in your home. You can easily pack up your laptop and take it with you to the library, a school building, or any other place where you need to attend a class or work on assignments.
If you find you need better speakers or more memory, you can always add stand-alone speakers or an external hard drive. The bulk of laptops on the market will have every capability that a student will ever need. Unless you're studying a specialized subject that requires a powerful hard drive or an expansive screen---a standard laptop should meet all your needs.
Chromebook computers have been all the rage among students in recent years. A Chromebook is a laptop that runs Google Chrome OS instead of Windows. Most Chromebooks have little internal storage. Chrome OS operates by saving everything to the cloud instead of saving it to a physical hard drive the way that many older operating systems do. Chromebooks are ideal for younger students because they are highly affordable and user friendly. The Google app store features many app versions of operating systems used by other computers---such as Windows---which can be run on a Chromebook. If you're searching for a lightweight, no frills computer that will allow you to log into Zoom and complete basic assignments---the Chromebook is for you. Most major computer makers have their own version of a Chromebook, so there are many different models to choose from.
For students attempting to focus on school when they're at home, a solid pair of noise-canceling headphones can truly be a lifesaver. Active noise-canceling headphones feature extra padding that helps block out background noises---such as a dog barking in the distance, or your neighbor mowing their lawn. Noise canceling headphones can also be used to listen to your computer's audio. Headphones are an excellent way to help keep yourself focused on lectures and assignments. Some noise-canceling headphones can help block out noise even when you're not listening to any audio.
Most everyone has a smartphone these days. Many teachers tell their students to put their smartphones away during school. A smartphone can actually be an invaluable tool when you're attending school from home, just as long as you're not distracted by cat videos or texts from your friends. A smartphone can serve as a second screen that can allow you to look up important information while listening to lectures or completing assignments. If your internet provider isn't reliable, you can tether your computer to your smartphone and create a wireless hotspot that will allow you to attend class uninterrupted. You can download apps to your smartphone that can help you do your work more efficiently such as a dictation app that can help you write papers and organize your notes, or a grammar app to help you perfect your writing. There are countless apps designed to make learning easier and more efficient. The right apps can transform your smartphone into an invaluable tool that will help you ace virtual school.
A tablet is fairly similar to a smartphone, only bigger. A tablet is an excellent option if you need a portable second screen that is larger than your standard smartphone. Tablets are great for taking notes if you want to reserve your primary screen for a lecture. Some tablets come with a stylus pen that allows you to write on them as if they were paper. A tablet is a great tool to keep yourself organized and on top of your assignments.
Technology has revolutionized virtual learning and made schooling from home a common practice. Thinking about the type of assignments that your field of study requires will help you decide what tech out there is right for you. You may require a powerful desktop computer with a large screen, or a no-frills laptop that will enable you to attend virtual lectures and write papers. Thankfully, most tech required for virtual leaning is becoming increasingly affordable. You can purchase everything you need without breaking the bank. The right technology can help you excel in school from the comfort of your home.