So it’s finally back to school season, which among other things, means it’s time to go shopping for school supplies. Yay! While you may not have to worry about backpacks, as an online student there are still supplies you’ll need if you hope to have a rocking semester. From tech goods to stationery, here are the 5 must have supplies for online classes.
A Reliable Computer
As an online student you’ll be completing the majority of your coursework via a computer. You’ll need a computer that can handle large video files, run multiple programs at once, allows for the installation of third party software, and with enough memory to store the class files or ebooks you may have to download.
Many online classes include video chats or exams proctored via a webcam, so you’ll need one with a webcam built in. If your computer lacks a built in webcam you’ll have to buy one separately. You should also look for a computer that comes with a word processor such as Microsoft Office already installed. If not many colleges offer free installs of the lastest version. Ideally you should look for a computer that has:
- At least 2GB of Ram
- At least a 64 GB hard drive
- Windows or MAC OS
- A CD Player
As an online student everything from textbooks, and exam guides to your syllabus may be in the form of an electronic file. You may want hard copies of these files, so a printer will definitely come in handy. While you can certainly opt to use the electronic version of these files, to avoid things like eye strain, and digital fatigue it’s better to use to have a hard copy on hand.
Yes, you’ll still need notebooks, pens, a planner, highlighters, and pencils for you online classes. Yes you can take notes on your laptop but the benefits of writing your notes instead of typing cannot be denied. Aside from note taking during lectures, you may also want to note due dates, and assignments in your planner. A highlighter will prove handy during study sessions.
A Wired Internet Connection
The internet will be necessary for accessing classes, guides, and even exams. While you certainly can use WI-FI to watch lectures and complete course work, when it comes to exams you are always advised to use a wired internet connection. Some online proctor companies such as ProctorU caution against using WI-FI for exams since the connection is not as reliable, and in some cases you can be penalized for it. Ensure whatever computer you use for exams that it has a wired broadband connection.
A Dedicated Study Area
As an online student you’ll be spending a lot more time around the computer than the average student. That coupled with the fact that you’ll be spending a lot of time watching lectures online means you’re going to need a quiet study area.
Try to mimic the classroom experience as much as possible, by finding an area away from any distraction. Remember as an online student you’ll have to be disciplined enough to watch lectures and get the work done, since you likely won’t have the benefit of set class times and sitting in a lecture hall.
When it comes to setting up a work station ensure that it is ergonomic to prevent issues related to bad posture while using the computer. Your work station should allow for your support for your back, allow you to view your computer at the proper angle, and prevent neck and shoulder strain.
Is there anything else you can think of in regard to supplies for online classes. Tell us in the comments below.