Adapting to distance teaching is hard. Very hard. It’s completely uncharted waters and the who, what, where, why, and how of it all is completely up in the air.
That’s frustrating when it comes to preparing lessons, but it’s also a blessing in disguise. As teachers, you’re being forced to break conventions and think outside of the box.
You’re developing and adapting as you go, becoming the pacesetters for the future of this teaching medium.
That level of freedom is all well and good, but you do need somewhere to start. There are certain hardware and software items that you need to prepare in advance.
We’re going to give you that fundamental starting place so that you can start building up your online teacher supplies and method.
Get Yourself Some Office 365 Hardware
Depending on where you’re teaching, as in what institute, you may have this provided for you. It’s incredibly likely that you already use this software in your regular lessons, too.
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more are all a part of this package. You don’t need us to tell you how valuable these tools are.
What you might not realize, though, is how valuable the programs are. The quality of your lessons increases exponentially when you’re using them for online lectures. Learning how to use these online teacher items is going to be vital to your year.
You don’t have the ability to give anecdotes or commands in the classroom with your remote teaching style. It’s also, significantly harder to get your students to engage, so having access to lesson materials to make up for that is vital.
Having access to these online teaching supplies is going to save you a lot of headaches, believe us.
You Need Good Hardware
Speaking of things being vital, you MUST have a good hardware setup. Remote teacher equipment is critical in delivering good online lessons. What do we mean by that? Specifically, we’re talking about your camera and microphone.
You don’t have to go out and spend four digits on a 4K 60fps webcam and a studio boom mic, but you are going to have to shell out some cash.
Using the default equipment built into your computer is unacceptable, as is going down to the local tech store and picking up the cheapest items.
Your students need to be able to see and hear you clearly. Your ability to engage and command the class is naturally inhibited through webcam teaching without your voice being muffled or crackly.
Without decent hardware, you’re not going to be able to access any of the online teacher items that you need to.
Don’t Forget About Your Internet.
Needless to say, if you’re delivering live classes, then you need to have some stable internet. Without it, you’re not going to be able to access any online teacher items. You obviously can’t go down to the corner store and buy an internet upgrade, but there are some measures you can take.
If your internet is particularly bad when you try to teach, you can do a few things. Move your teaching setup closer to your internet router if you can. You could also buy a router to connect to your current set-up, which is going to boost the signal.
Ideally, though, you should be using a wired connection. If you’re close enough to your internet box to do this, great. If not, there are wireless range boosters that you can connect to both your PC and your internet that does the same thing.
Make Sure You Have Your Materials Ready in Advance
There are a million and one different things that can go wrong with your tech when you’re delivering your lesson. Files might refuse to load, things get lost, and all in all, it’s a mess.
Have your files open and ready to go to avoid any unexpected surprises. You don’t have the ability to adapt on the fly as you do in a classroom, nor do you have access to the same level of IT resources, so come prepared.
A Good Desk and Chair Setup
This is one of the most important online teacher supplies on the list.
You’re going to be sitting down for an awfully long time. A lot longer than you’re used to. You’re not exactly going to be standing up by a whiteboard giving a lecture.
You might think, “what’s the big deal?” Well, prolonged periods of sitting down, especially when you’re not used to it, is going to be painful.
You can also deal with serious long-term harm to your body if you sit for a prolonged period. While it’s tempting to spend $50 on a cheap chair and desk from IKEA, it really is best if you don’t.
That then begs the question of “what desk and chair do you get?” Well, aren’t you lucky, because we have just what you’re looking for.
The Autonomous SmartDesk line is, in no uncertain terms, perfect for distance teaching. It lets you quickly switch between sitting and standing modes, so if you have a whiteboard in your setup, you can easily switch between that and the computer.
Getting a SmartDesk is going to make giving your classes easier and help keep your back and posture in the long run.
Desks are just half of the equation, though. As for your chair, the Autonomous ergonomic office chairs are what you need.
When you’re not getting the benefits from standing up at your desk, you need a way to minimize the damage.
The chairs here at Autonomous suit that need perfectly. Each one is designed to keep your back as natural as possible while you work. This, in turn, corrects your posture. The overall results actually lead to an increase in productivity, too.
There are plenty of other remote teacher equipment pieces here, too. Thus, if you need anything, in particular, consider having a browse.
The last remote teacher equipment you need to prepare before you’re ready to tackle your online lessons is good lighting.
This one usually slips the minds of most people. After all, you’re teaching a class, not shooting a film. However, having good lighting can be crucial to your efficiency.
If you’re sitting in the dark, dimly lit room with horrible audio and a poor camera, your students are going to be less interested and engaged.
When you flip that around, a clear voice, good visual, and a well-lit room are going to go a long way to capturing the attention of your students.
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