Online distance learning is the new normal for students all over the world. Lots of students are adding new items to their home workspace and doing more things to improve their online school experience, so Spectrum has created a list of online school essentials. Not all of these items are equally important to every student, but if you want to make the most of your online experience, you should definitely look into each of these helpful items.
Ergonomic keyboards and mouses prevent awkward positions and are said to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome, numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist, and other computer-related ailments. An ergonomic keyboard positions your hands and wrists in their natural position, which means less straining and reaching for the mouse and keypad. An ergonomic mouse reduces the range of motion necessary to operate a mouse and allows you to rest your arm and hand in a natural position.
Laptop stands raise your laptop to eye level, preventing strain on your neck and back caused by a downward forced view. They also prevent your computer from heating up. Harper Fogelson ‘24 says her laptop stand is “helpful because it makes typing easier, and I don’t have to slouch down to look at my screen and type anymore.”
Blue light glasses help relieve eye discomfort and give you more of an opportunity to last longer on your computer.
Headphones help with creating a quiet environment to work in which is easier to focus in. “Headphones are helpful for keeping out external sounds that you normally wouldn’t have to hear during school,” Fogelson said. Another Harvard-Westlake student Maddie Baffo agrees that “Headphones keep out access sounds and make school more peaceful.”
Planners are an essential part of any student’s life to keep track of assignments, due dates, and much more. “It helps me organize and keep track of my schedule and free periods. Right now it is so hard to have a definite schedule because everything is so unpredictable so it helps keep a more stable schedule” says Fogelson. One good option for Harvard-Westlake Students is the HW planner, which is provided by the school.
Stickies are a place to write down reminders and can be used on Apple computers. You can find them by looking up “stickies” with spotlight search. “I use stickies to write information from class on the fly when I don’t have a pen and paper at hand. I also write down important dates when things are due” says Baffo. Fogelson also says, “Because everything is so chaotic and unpredictable the more forms of organization you can get the better. Stickies are just another great way to stay organized without taking up space.”
Monitors are known for their quick response time, durability, and color clarity. They are great for editing and make doing multiple assignments easier.
Desk organizers such as pencil cups and paper trays make sure that you don’t have to scramble around in class just to find your materials. Some people like to have colorful organizers but others like to go for a simple look. The way you organize your materials and desk depends on the student, but lots of methods work for all students. Harper Fogelson says, “Designating different drawers for different materials or having organizers on top of your desk will only make school easier.”
Students are sitting in their chairs for hours on end and have to work in the same exact spot for the entire day. Having a chair that is not right for you or that is uncomfortable can make your back sore and worsen your posture. “You are sitting for up to 6-7 hours a day plus the time that you do homework so having a good and comfortable chair is important because you are spending so much time in it,” says Harper Fogelson.