Online learning has become increasingly popular over the last decade, especially as technology becomes more advanced and affordable. However, choosing the right device to use for your online class can still be tricky.
Whether you’re new to online learning or a seasoned online learner, choosing the right device is crucial to enjoy a seamless experience with your coursework.
A Quick Overview of Common Devices Suitable for Online Learning.
From smartphones and tablets to laptops or Chromebooks, there is a range of devices to choose from. While it may seem like you need one of each to get the most out of your online classes, there are definitely ways to make do with what you have available.
These days, many laptops come with stylus options and, when connected to an external keyboard, can also be used as tablets. While they don’t compare in size to your standard iPad, newer models are more than up for taking notes and checking out content from websites.
There are also some Chromebooks that are very lightweight that you may forget they’re even in your bag.
Tips to Help You Choose the Right Device for Online Learning.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all gadget solution. What works for one student may not work for you. Therefore, it is important to determine ahead of time what you will be using your gadget for. This is to ensure that whichever device you choose has the software capabilities you need.
For example, if you're taking online classes as a college student and need to take notes during lectures, having only a laptop may not be your best bet as some laptop keyboards are not ergonomic, which can make it difficult to type out notes quickly.
Plus, they can be pretty cumbersome if you're trying to balance them on your lap while sitting in class. However, when it comes time to do more intensive work outside of class—like actually writing a paper—laptops are great as they allow you to sit comfortably at a desk with proper back support.
So, make sure your device of choice is compatible with the programs needed for your online class. Check out this guide from CyberSafeTT that helps to highlight the suitability and deficiencies that a smartphone, tablet, or laptop may present to you as a student.
Image by cybersafett.com
Whether it’s so you can connect with other students and teachers via forums or video chats, or because your school needs you to use specific software, you’ll want to choose wisely before getting started with buying a new device.
Before you start shopping, make sure you have a good answer to why you want a new device. If you simply want something shinier and newer, hold off. However, if your current device isn’t powerful enough or can’t handle what you need it to do, or maybe it's simply too small and takes too long to boot up, then an upgrade is in order.
And if you already have a functional device for class, simply purchase a cover to help protect your gadget from wear and tear.