Virtual schooling has been a difficult adjustment for many students, especially those who have only been educated in a physical environment and institution. Although transitioning to a completely different learning location and having to adapt to new softwares and teaching styles can seem intimidating, there are ways in which you can build a comfortable and productive learning environment from home. Consider incorporating these products into your work space, learning habits and ultimately into your online educational experience.
1. Desk or desk tray.
If you don't already have a work space or desk area solely dedicated to academic work, there are many affordable options that can work within any space. The first step in determining what type of workspace you need is evaluating the space that you have available. If you have enough space to add a desk somewhere you feel comfortable to learn, you can find a traditional desk that comes in six different styles on Amazon for $49.99 or if you need more organization, you can find a desk workstation on Amazon for $45.98. Although having a workspace with a desk and chair allows for physical learning routines to be preserved, online schooling means you can choose your learning environment so if you don't have enough space for a full desk, consider a portable desk tray. Desk trays are very versatile objects that you can bring to almost any location such as your bed, couch, table or any other surface. You can find a desk tray large enough for a laptop, a phone, a notebook and other learning tools for $39.99 on Amazon.
2. A good note taking system.
In order to continue being productive academically within a different learning environment, you may need to alter some of your traditional learning methods. If you are newly transitioning to virtual classes this upcoming fall, you should evaluate your past note taking habits to find elements that would and wouldn't work in an online class. You can either work on paper with a pen, on a tablet using a stylus, or you can type out information on documents, these three methods could potentially require a note taking software. There are many softwares that are geared towards specific learning and notetaking preferences so it is important to research each or try their free trials before investing in one for your courses. Note Taking softwares include, OneNote, Evernote, GoogleDrive and Notability.
3. Blue light glasses.
Virtual classes mean that students are going to be heavily increasing their exposure time to the blue light from electronics. To prevent or reduce eye straining when working on devices for a long period of time, you can use bluelight glasses which help to block blue light from reaching the retina. Blue light glasses come in many brands, shapes and colors, but the most affordable options are on Amazon, which start at around $12. Another great option that provides more color and face sizing options is Izipizi, a global glasses brand that offers 60 different blue light glasses, each retailing for $50.
4. An aromatherapy diffuser.
To help in creating a stress free and productive learning environment, you can incorporate products that make your space feel more calm and uncluttered. A great product to create a good aura around your workspace is an aromatherapy diffuser, that can fill a room with the essential oil aroma of your choice. If you already know about essential oils and need a diffuser, you can purchase one on Amazon for $14.99. The concept of aromatherapy and essential oils might be new to you, if so you can learn about the benefits and purpose of different essential oils online and purchase a diffuser and essential oil set on Amazon for $36.99.
5. Good lighting.
Many virtual classes are requiring interactive digital classes in which students can interact with their peers and teachers through a video call or zoom meetings. As you have to show your face to be able to communicate efficiently through video calls, it is important to have enough lighting to both work and remain professionally visible on screen. If you need a small light to sit on a desk workspace near your computer for better visibility, you can purchase a minimal clip-on LED desk lamp on Amazon for $19.59 and if you simply need some extra lighting for a video call, you can purchase a LED circle light, that can clip directly onto your laptop or computer, on Amazon for $17.99.
Hopefully some of these products will help you forget that you're not in a classroom with the physical company of your peers and educators. It is important to remain positive and change what doesn't work for you so that you can continue to adapt and succeed within this new world of learning.