Say what you want about online classes, but it’s a way for most students, and teachers to be in an environment where they have a sense of normalcy in this time of the pandemic. If you are a student looking for ways to make the transition from actual schooling to the online alternative smoother, here are some tools, both software and hardware, to ease up the jitters:
An online, browser-based PDF editor and converter
PDF, or portable document format, will be a mainstay in any online class for documents, resources, and other files needed for the course. It is the standard file extension that’s commonly used for sharing files over the Internet because it rarely changes layout even when opened on various software programs. It’s also one of the most stable, so most prefer to use it.
An online, browser-based PDF application is a better resource than installing a dedicated PDF software for quick PDF edits like when you want to convert an HTML to PDF really quickly for a missed assignment or when you need to have a Word file converted to PDF. With browser-based PDF applications like PDFBear, you don’t need to open an application, then open the file in question to do the conversion. You just have to upload it on a new tab, and in minutes, you’ll have a converted file.
A capable computer or a laptop
A computer or a laptop that can connect to the Internet is, of course, a given when you want to have a great online class experience. If you don’t have any of these and don’t have the budget to buy one, your smartphone should suffice. But know that you will have to make adjustments if you are going the smartphone route.
When we talk about a capable computer or a laptop, it means that it has a great storage system, the processor is above average, and the peripherals are more than decent. An SSD storage system is faster than HDD, and Intel processors like i5 or i7 will likely be better than anything lower. Peripherals-wise, your computer should have Bluetooth as well – this is for when you use Bluetooth earphones for talking and listening.
A great pair of headphones
Speaking of headphones, these little pairs of audio hardware is one of the most important things to have to survive an online class. A great pair of headphones means that you can listen to your professor speaking clearly, even with ambient noise all around. A noise-canceling headphone is ideal if you can afford one, but default 3.5mm headphones for your phone should do the trick when all else fails.
An online tool to help with concentration
To be able to pull focus, you need to have a strong sense of mind. It would be best if you also had the motivation not to be distracted, as well as the discipline to keep at the work that’s in front of you. The Internet is full of distractions – social media, videos, and even notifications from random applications – and it can be hard work to keep motivated during long hours of online classes.
To help you with this, try the Pomodoro technique. This is a time management method that you can use to focus on one task in 25-minute intervals. The theory is that 25 minutes is all you need to be focused on any task, and if you focus on that task at hand, you’ll likely stick to it until you finish. After the first 25 minutes, you can have a 5-10 minute rest period, then on to the grind again.
These are some of the basic tools you need. There are many, and it will depend on your personal needs. A temperature-controlled room may be one of it or a table where you can set your things at arm’s length. Always remember that online classes are hard, as hard as face-to-face learning, but you just need to stick to it for you to acclimate.