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5 Essentials Every Student Needs for Successful Online Classes
  • Feb 2021
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5 Essentials Every Student Needs for Successful Online Classes

17th February 2021

The global pandemic has upended most businesses and industries, and education is among the hardest hit sectors. In fact, over 1.2 billion students across 186 countries were affected by school closures last year, according to the World Economic Forum.


To minimize COVID-19 transmission, classes have moved online, signaling a shift to the new normal. However, this remote setup comes with its own share of challenges, as US News reports that students struggle to stay motivated and focused. To ease the transition to a digital platform, we recommend having these five essentials for your online classes.
 

1. A fast computer
You don’t need to have a super powerful computer with heavy-duty RAM and dedicated video cards to attend online classes. However, you will need a machine strong enough to support video calls for a long time without crashing.


There are many important features to keep in mind when choosing a computer. Nowadays, you need at least an Intel Core i5 processor (or equivalent) and 4 GB of RAM to run a video call without it getting sluggish. For one, Intel's 11th Generation "Tiger Lake" Core CPUs combines both power and battery efficiency. Meanwhile, AMD's Ryzen is emerging as a popular and ultraportable pick for students. Don’t be afraid to splurge if your budget allows it. After all, it's hard to focus on your education when your own gadgets won't allow you to be productive.

2. A good audio setup

Most laptops have a built-in microphone and speaker to communicate over Zoom. But being default hardware, these tools aren’t exactly the best quality and can prove insufficient — especially if you live in a noisy area. If you want a better online learning experience, you will need to invest in better equipment.
 

To that end, Adorama features some great audio equipment, including some headsets and earphones you might want to check out. If your neighbor's dog won't stop barking, try out the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headset. It’s outfitted with world-class noise cancellation and volume-optimized equalization technology to deliver full audio clarity while blocking outside noise. Alternatively, if you want something less bulky, the Sony WF-XB700 earphones could be a good choice. They fit snugly in your ears, and come with a quick-charge feature so that they're always ready for your next class. Plenty of options are available; so choose the ones with the right balance of features and affordability for you.
 

3. A reliable internet connection
All your fancy equipment is useless if you can’t actually connect to the internet for class. As such, you should find a good internet service provider who can give you a seamless broadband connection with minimal latencies. This is especially important when you have real-time class activities, like graded recitations or oral quizzes, where you need to respond instantly.
 

4. An ergonomic chair and table
Studying from home gives you the leeway to plop yourself on the couch with your laptop. It’s comfortable and so unlike a physical classroom where you have to make an effort to look attentive. But doing this for too long will have a negative effect on your posture, and eventually, your overall health.


To avoid developing any musculoskeletal issues, make sure that your working space is ergonomic. Buy an adjustable standing desk, or specially designed chairs with controllable height and tilt settings to maintain a healthy posture. But if you find them too expensive, Mayo Clinic suggests some useful tips and easy changes to optimize your home classroom's ergonomics — like using pillows to support your spine’s curve, or keeping your feet flat on the ground.
 

Successful Online Classes

5. A timeout app
When you study from home, there can be so many distractions. It’s tempting to switch to your Facebook or Twitter tab instead of listening to your professor. You might think this is fine since it's hard for anyone to tell whether you're listening, but your grades will suffer if you don’t concentrate.


To stay focused, consider installing a timeout app on your phone and laptop. Wired recommends an array of website-blocking extensions that you can install on your browser for free. These apps will help you get rid of all distractions — allowing you to devote your undivided attention to your lessons during class time. You’ll thank yourself for it later.


Studying at home can be difficult as cabin fever takes its toll on our mental health. But having these online class essentials with you can help combat the stress while we wait out the worst of the global pandemic. For more tips and help with your schoolwork, visit our blog on Help in Homework.

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