Whether you’re new to attending school online or a seasoned virtual veteran, here are some things student needs for virtual learning.
Back-to-school shopping is right around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about what supplies you’ll need for the coming school year.
Usually, you’d buy some spiral-bound notebooks, pens, pencils, and your school books, but virtual learning requires some different back-to-school items.
Whether you’re new to attending school online or a seasoned virtual veteran, here are five things you’ll need for an optimal learning experience.
1. A Good Computer
A good computer is essential when it comes to virtual learning. Make sure your computer has a long battery life so it doesn’t die in the middle of a lecture.
Staring at a screen for hours at a time can be really bad for your eyes, especially if you have to strain to see, so make sure it’s large enough for you to see everything clearly.
A reliable internet connection is also essential. Imagine missing crucial information because your internet dropped out during class.
Your computer is your connection to your professors, so make sure it’s a good one!
An all-in-one software program like Microsoft 365 will likely come in handy too. Some universities offer this to students for free, so take advantage of it if you can!
2. Computer Accessories
Quality headphones or earbuds will help to ensure you don’t miss a thing during lectures. Get a pair that’s comfortable because you’re going to be wearing them a lot!
A USB drive will give you a place to store notes, videos, assignments, and other school-related files. Make sure you get one large enough to serve you for four years.
If you do a lot of clicking on your computer, getting a vertical mouse will help prevent wrist pain.
Virtual learning often requires flipping back and forth between multiple pages on your computer. An external monitor gives you some extra space to leave a page open. Plus, they limit neck pain!
3. A Comfortable Chair
There’s nothing like a comfy desk chair. Unfortunately, you’re going to be sitting at your computer a lot, so having a comfortable place to sit is really important.
Otherwise, your body might start to hurt, which can steal your focus and lead to lower grades!
Back pain is common for those who spend most of their day sitting down at the computer, but that doesn’t have to be you. In addition to buying a comfy chair, make sure you stand and stretch at least once every hour.
Go to an office supply or gaming store and try out as many different chairs as you can. Look for a chair with armrests, good lower back support, and wheels. The more adjustable parts the chair has, the better.
4. A Designated Workplace
Whether you’re going to school or working from home, setting up a designated workspace is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.
Put a desk in your bedroom, use a spare room in your house, or pick a spot on your couch. Either way, having a place to “go to school” will help you build a routine and stay on task. Many people prefer to keep school and home life separate, and this is one way to accomplish that.
You might want to avoid using your bedroom as a workspace for this reason, though. Leave sleep for one room and work for another so you don’t confuse your brain too much.
When you have a designated workspace, it’s easier to keep things organized because you can keep all of your school materials in one place.
Stack books on your coffee table if you work on the couch, or lay them out on your desktop if you work in a home office. Just make sure you only keep school materials in your designated workspace and avoid mixing anything else into your space.
Every morning, all you have to do is sit down and get to work!
5. A Planner
There’s no way to overstate the importance of a scheduling book. This might be the most important item on this list (aside from a computer, of course).
If you’re going to school in person, a planner is an easy way to remind yourself of upcoming deadlines, exams, etc. But if you’re taking classes virtually, your planner is your best friend.
Virtual school comes with the added responsibility of managing your time in the most efficient way possible.
A planner will allow you to keep lists of everything you have to do for every class. Consolidating these lists in one place will help you stay productive and work more efficiently, which is exactly what you need when learning online.
Balancing traditional school with work and the other aspects of life makes it easy to forget things. But learning online adds a whole new set of responsibilities.
Maintaining a planner gives you the ability to keep a record of everything you’ve done, so you can rest assured knowing every task is accounted for.
Attending college online is a challenging task. Your mindset, self-discipline, and the tools you have to work with will impact your experience.
If you set yourself up with a good computer, some accessories, and a comfortable chair in a designated workspace, you’ll have a successful and rewarding experience with virtual college.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove at Pullman to help them with their online marketing.