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5 Important Equipment Needed for Online Classes

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Since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, all the education institutions in Malaysia, from primary to university are closed. All the lessons are moved online and the class is completely virtual. Both students and teachers are spending hours in front of their device.

Learning online is a new challenge for both students and teachers, however it provides a lot of flexibility to study from home. 

Parents no longer need to send their children to school or tuition centres, but parents want to make sure their children are still able to attend class and catch up with syllabus normally.

Knowing that your children may be less focused during online lessons and easily distracted by things that are happening in the house, especially when you’re cooking, you will need to prepare a conducive environment for them.

What should you prepare? How much does the right equipment cost? How to ensure your children are able to learn comfortably from home?

A man is writing down note beside his laptop
A man is writing down note beside his laptop

Let’s start with the 5 important tools that you’ll need to get started with enjoyable online learning.

That’s it! Effective online learning will require you to prepare these five things.

There are plenty of other things that can be helpful when attending an online class, but these are the only must-haves. We will explore them one by one and give you a whole idea how much it took to build a decent remote classroom for your children.

Make sure you have good internet connectivity

Before purchasing additional accessories for your setup, the very first thing is to make sure that you have good internet connectivity in your area.

If you are living in a rural area where the coverage is poor, internet speed could be sometimes frustrating.

You can do a quick check on the speed of the network at your place to get a rough idea of your current speeds. 

All device is connected to the Internet and Network speed is required for online class
All device is connected to the Internet and Network speed is required for online class

Typically, a speed of 1 – 4 MBps is good enough for video conferencing.

Of course, the higher the better. If the speed is lower than 1MBps, one trick you can do is to turn off the camera at your side. This will greatly improve the smoothness of video streaming.

Most of the online lessons are conducted on platforms like Zoom, Google Meet and WebEx. These platforms are very well designed to make sure video can be run smoothly under slow networks.

If network is the issue, you may want to consider changing your network provider. This is why the internet connectivity is most crucial among the five equipment for online classes

A laptop with camera or a smartphone

Most of the family nowadays has a computer or a laptop in house. This is the most important thing you need to have in order for you to attend an online class.

Usually, you just need a normal computer with internet connection. Even now if you’re bringing your children out or trapped in traffic, they still can join a class using a phone.

However, your children will be hard to focus and do necessary note taking if they attend online class somewhere else.

The learning experience is related to the size of the computer screen. It is advisable to attend a class using a phone if and only if you do not have access to your computer.

A larger screen with high resolution lets your children see finer details of a lesson.

A Boy is Attending an Online Mathematics Class
A Boy is Attending an Online Mathematics Class

Do proper planning before you buy a new monitor. You may want to consider a monitor with a layer of UV protection as your children will be sitting in front and watching it for quite a long time.

You may also want to carefully think about the other application that this monitor will be used for.

For instance, a 4K resolution with 120 Hz refresh rate monitor would be a good choice for a gamer.

Other than gaming, you may want to consider a normal monitor if you’re just using it to watch movies.

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Headphone with microphone

A headphone is one of the important tools among the five equipment for online classes that you should have for your children.

But why? For parents who choose a laptop and phone for their children, they always find having a headphone is extra while the device has its own audio and microphone built in.

Without a headphone, all the sounds from surrounding are going to directly impact your children.

Fan, little child crying, loud television, aggressive cooking, neighbours’ humming, vehicles passing and many other noises bring huge distraction to your children and they tend to lose focus.

In addition, a noisy environment will cause loud buzz on the audio when it is turned on.

This is making it hard for teachers to communicate properly with their children.

A Girl is Wearing a Blue Headphone
A Girl is Wearing a Blue Headphone

Consider buying a headset that has dedicated headphones and a microphone is killing two birds with one stone.

Beside shielding out the distractions during lesson, it also allows your kids to stay focused in class.

When buying a headset, quality comes into play as your children will be using it frequently. A headset is made up of tens of mechanical parts. Frequent movement will cause them to wear out quickly.

A good headset is rugged and usually comes with better sound quality. Do some homework before you purchase one.

A quiet room with decent lighting

The most challenging thing when attending an online lesson is staying from the start till the end of the class.

The quality of a lesson is dependent on various factors such as internal and external distractions, attitude of each student as well as the lesson itself.

Prepare a dedicated place or preferably a small room as the virtual classroom for your children.

There, they can fully focus on their lesson and do their homework without disturbances.

A Girl is Studying in a Quiet Room with decent Lighting
A Girl is Studying in a Quiet Room with decent Lighting

The lighting in the room can not only make a world of difference for their studies, but can also create a comfortable study place.

A poorly designed place, for instance, in a room with no windows should be avoided.

Apart from that, the lighting should be sufficient and placed properly so it is not right above the children’s head which will cast shadows on their face. Proper lighting is also meant to protect their eyes.

A suitable chair

A child spends on average 6 hours sitting on their chair attending online class and doing their homework.

This doesn’t include the time spent on non-academic stuff such as streaming videos or playing games.

Consider 30 hours per week, multiply that by the number of weeks since the start of MCO, and you will be surprised to see that your children may have spent 2000 hours on chair.

Chairs' Price Comparison
Chairs' Price Comparison

I am not saying you should immediately invest in a new chair.

However, I want you to know that a supportive office chair prevents fatigue and back strain due to long hours of sitting.

This is why chair is listed as one of the necessary tools for online classes. Finding the right chair that is comfortable and keeps strain and injury from occurring is important to having happy, healthy and productive online learning.

Before buying anything, make sure you ask your children to try on the chair before buying it to ensure it fits your kids well.

Here are few things to look at:

  • It should support the curve in the lower back.
  • Adjustable height
  • Arm rests should allow the shoulder to relax
  • Arm height should be adjustable to match the height of the desk

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What you should do now?

Take some time and understand the needs from your kids.

They might be okay with current home setup, but you will have to decide what is best for them.

If you have an interesting setup in your house that match with the five equipment for online classes, do share with us via our official FB page. We will be selecting a few inspiring virtual online classroom!

If you are looking for a substitution for current online classes, you can consider to go for private tuition. We are professional agency that find best home tuition and online tuition in Malaysia for you for FREE.

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