Now that many schools and colleges are operating from a distance, it’s necessary to ensure you have an efficient remote learning space. Parents need to set up a work area where their child feels comfortable and can focus on schoolwork. College students also need to prioritize a workspace that fits their needs, improving their productivity.
Taking the effort to create a learning workspace helps everyone stay engaged while attending classes from home. However, what exactly do you need to set up a permanent or temporary virtual school setup? This article lets you know the tools required to create one for you or your child and a couple of tips to help you set it up.
Tools and Furniture Necessary for a Remote Learning Set up at Home
Currently, there isn’t a standard way to implement remote learning. Some teachers only correspond through emails, while others give their lectures through Zoom or other teleconferencing software.
Regardless of the method, there is one thing they have in common: the internet. Here are some remote learning tools and furniture you may need to create an online school desk setup for yourself or your children.
Computer and Networking Equipment
The first thing everyone needs before even considering remote learning is a dependable computer. Do some research into reliable desktop computers or laptops within your budget or even seek guidance from a familiar or an acquaintance.
At the very least, your personal computer should connect wirelessly to the internet, have 16 GB of RAM, and allow third-party app downloads. Nonetheless, if you’re considering using it for something other than studies, it may be necessary to buy a better laptop or PC parts.
If you buy a laptop, a good idea would be to get a second monitor and output video to it. This second display allows you or your children to avoid hunching over to see the screen. Fortunately, some modern laptops can mirror their screens over WiFi, enabling you to use the TV to watch the course, as long as it doesn’t mandate webcams or other teleconferencing gear.
Assuming you didn’t buy a desktop computer, an alternative to a second monitor for a laptop would be a desk riser. However, you also need to purchase an ergonomic keyboard and mouse if you buy one as the laptop would be too high to use comfortably.
Another thing that can help you limit distractions is noise-reducing headphones. These allow you to create a quiet remote learning space with ease. They come in two styles: in-ear and over-ear. However, only over-ear headphones are comfortable and good enough to minimize sound.
With headphones, you can create a barrier for yourself or your children where they can focus on their tasks for long periods. It also allows people to hear information and lectures without bothering others.
Finally, it would be best if you had a reliable internet connection. If your internet service provider isn’t too dependable, you can make do with mobile WiFi hotspots in a pinch. If the internet is good, but there are many people in the household, you may have to set a usage plan to have an adequate remote learning experience.
Another thing you could do is boost your WiFi range with an extender if you can’t put the remote learning space by the router. Of course, buying another one with more extensive coverage is an option as well.
More often than not, the built-in laptop webcam doesn’t have good video or audio quality. However, webcams technically aren’t as much of a necessity as is having reliable internet and computers. Not every class requires a webcam, and there are others where a smartphone or tablet camera is all that’s necessary.
Moreover, this is without considering that most laptops already have integrated cameras and microphones. The only situations where an external HD camera might be necessary for a virtual school setup are where you aren’t satisfied with their quality or when classes require live presentations.
If you’re setting up a remote learning space, something you shouldn’t neglect is the furniture you use. It doesn’t matter whether you’re creating a distance learning workspace for yourself or your children.
Children, in particular, need a workstation that not only helps them learn but cares for their well-being. For that reason, it’s essential to invest in ergonomic furniture that can adapt for their growth.
Purchasing a standing desk for kids is an excellent investment. You can adjust these desks to their stature as time passes, allowing them to have a workspace that puts less strain on their bodies and lets them focus. Otherwise, they could develop neck and back problems due to poor posture.
Of course, you can’t buy a standing desk for their distance learning workspace without purchasing a kids ergonomic chair. For example, the ErgoChair Junior from Autonomous fits kids between 4 and 12 years old. With it, you don’t have to buy and customize poor-fitting chairs any longer.
Ergonomic furniture is also helpful if you’re a college student. An electric standing desk would help you switch positions seamlessly, reducing sedentary time and improving engagement. Likewise, an ergonomic office chair would be significantly good for your posture and comfort.
Apart from a working internet and a computer, these two furniture pieces may be the centerpiece of every remote learning setup at home. Fortunately, you can get both at a lower price with the year-long Autonomous student discount on all products. Get them and improve your productivity with furniture that conforms to all of its users’ preferences.
Setting up a Remote Learning Space
Creating an effective virtual school setup lets you or your children stay engaged while learning from home. Let’s check out how you can set up one.
1. Designate an Adequate Study Space
The first step in creating a remote learning setup at home is finding a place you can dedicate specifically for studies. Here is where you or your children attend classes, complete assigned projects, and focus on studies. These workspaces can range from the usual home office setup to a desk in the bedroom or even the kitchen table.
However, there are a couple of things you must keep in mind. For instance, it would be best to only use the study space for learning. This way, it’s easier to associate it with education, allowing whoever uses it to focus solely on their work or the classes.
If you can designate an area as a study space, you or your child can get used to it over time, getting into a study mode as soon as you enter the space. Having a workspace where there are too many distractions, such as the living room or anywhere with a TV, makes it too hard to focus and get things done. Moving between spaces also has the same negative result, as the brain never wholly associates the area with a workspace.
A dedicated online school desk setup or remote learning space can help maintain a healthy balance between studies and home life, even more now that they’re almost inseparable. It’s also vital to have good sleep hygiene. Additionally, it would be best if you or your kids didn’t use the bed for anything other than sleep.
Students can benefit from a separation between a place meant for studies and one meant for rest. Another thing you could do to make the study space as effective as possible is to set it by a window that provides natural lighting. Some studies show that fluorescent lights and LEDs desk lamps may decrease productivity, contrary to sunlight which improves circadian rhythms.
Also, make sure the workspace has every tool and supply necessary to complete school work. Setting the virtual school setup so that materials are within arm’s reach is ideal, allowing the user to keep their train of thought and workflow whenever they grab them.
As mentioned, a WiFi booster or extender might come in handy if the connection is spotty at the study space. These are significantly easy to set up and might be helpful if you have a large household.
Finally, desk decor can add some life to the distance learning workspace and make it feel less constrained. Likewise, color-coding for class notebooks can help students organize their workspace and decrease confusion and clutter. After all, clean environments lead to clear minds.
2. Limit Distractions
If you want to create an efficient remote learning space, you need to limit distractions. As mentioned, it’s essential to pick a spot where there aren’t too many things that can interfere with studies, such as the TV, cellphones, and background noise or music.
Although some students can focus while listening to music and reviewing notes, most usually do better without it. Sure, music can put people in a good mood, but it can be counterproductive if they pay more attention to the song’s lyrics than the study material. If you or your child find it hard to work in silence, putting on some ambient noise or instrumental music may be more effective.
Additionally, teenagers and older kids might benefit from getting into the habit of turning off their smartphones and other devices whenever they have to study. This means switching them off or turning on airplane mode, not just flipping them over.
Even knowing that the cellphone is there and that notifications might come through at some point can affect focus. Turning it off can be somewhat liberating, so it might be a good idea to encourage children to do it or try to and keep checking devices while they focus on studies at a minimum.
3. Stick with a Routine
Apart from creating a remote learning setup at home, communicating and maintaining routines is essential. It can help families adjust to the learning arrangement and maintain some semblance of structure as they continue to adapt to the new daily life. Additionally, this helps get students in an academic mindset during the day.
If you’re a parent or a caregiver, it’s vital to set up a predictable schedule throughout the week. Make it together with your family and post it in a shared space where everyone can access it. If you’re a college student, having a set schedule can be helpful, but you might not have to share it with other people unless you’re with your family or roommates.
A consistent study routine helps set up the tone for the rest of the day in your remote learning space, so even small actions such as getting dressed can help give a sense of stability while learning remotely.
4. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
Even with the best remote learning setup at home, it’s a good idea to take effective breaks. The human body shouldn’t remain sedentary as it’s usually at its healthiest condition when you have a dynamic lifestyle.
Don’t sit and work at the computer for long periods. Get up every 30 minutes and move around. You or your children can use this time to get a drink or walk around the remote learning space for a bit.
It’s also crucial to avoid eye strain. Just as the body gets tired from remaining in the same place for too long, so do the eyes. Set a timer to look away from the screen every 20 minutes to stare at an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This 20-20-20 rule is pretty helpful when it comes to avoiding eye strain.
Finally, when you stand, take some time to stretch. It’s the best thing you can do to relieve some of the pent-up pressure in your body. Stretching impacts blood circulation positively and can help you or your child remain engaged throughout the day. All in all, it’s a good, safe practice to implement in a routine.
The Bottom Line
The switch from physical attendance to remote instruction was or is challenging for many students and their families. Ensuring you or your child has a dedicated remote learning space with little to no distractions is an excellent way to continue learning effectively and finally get used to the new studying environment.
Remember that making sure you have everything you need to set up for a distance learning workspace is essential. Things such as a reliable internet connection and computer are necessary. Likewise, an ergonomic chair and standing desk, such as the Autonomous SmartDesk Core and ErgoChair Pro, can be significantly helpful for health and comfort, whether they’re for your children or yourself.
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