Tech checklist for remote learning school
It’s happening people. We’re now in the summer, but September is rolling around. That’s school time. And don’t worry, I won’t say the that overused phrase, “the new normal,” any more than you just read. But, it’s true, we are in for a strange routine with remote school for your kids.
Whether your child’s schedule is remote learning every day, every other week or every few days, you’ll need to be prepared. You may have experienced remote learning for the last part of this year, but it will be go time for September, so I thought I’d share my recommended checklist of what you’ll need to prepare:
If possible, get a laptop. Try to avoid using an iPad or iPhone if you can invest in a laptop. Also try to avoid a desktop because you’ll need to mess with too many add-ons like a USB webcam and headphones that you’ll wrestle with which ports they go into. A MacBook is great and is peppy, but a low-grade Windows laptop is perfectly fine as well. You’ll just need to have an integrated webcam to work with. As for minimum requirements, I’d go with at least a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. My fave is the Dell Latitude, but any model with these minimum specs will suffice.
For the little kids, Amazon sells a $12 version, K11 Kids Headphones, that should do the trick. For the older kids, they probably are already using Beats or some other tricked out brand that they prefer. Headphones should be used if you have a busy household, 3+ kids, or close home quarters. It keeps the volume down and concentration level elevated.
A Wi-Fi printer is the way to go. Most of them are sold as all-in-one print, scan, copiers which is fine. I’m a fan of the latest HP OfficeJet series. The Canon Pixma printers are also a solid choice. Always be sure to have tons of paper and ink cartridge backups. You’ll need it with all the remote learning assignments.
A great way to show your schedule for the day or iron out bullet points for a class. Grab a whiteboard. It’s also go for Do-Nows are whatever else may help your child frame the day or class. I’m a fan of Viz-Pro whiteboards.
Don’t skimp on this. You don’t want to be the frozen face of the class! Check in with Spectrum, Verizon, or whoever may be your Internet provider. Ask for the latest deal. If it’s not fast or cheap enough, check out another provider. Internet providers are always lowering their rates so jumping to a competitor may be a better deal for you. Bottom line, you’ll want at least 200 Mbps if you can swing it. Obviously, the faster the better. With everyone stationed more at home nowadays, you’re competing with more folks for the same internet speed. So, you have to speed up your current connection especially for dedicated remote school being online.
Another point is that you may be able to get by with your Internet provider’s all-in-one wifi router and modem connection. But, if you find your Internet is solid only near the modem and not in other areas, you should consider having your own wireless router installed with Wi-Fi extenders. This will extend your Wi-Fi signal to your problem areas. I’ve used the Google Wi-Fi system which has worked well for me. For this task, you may need tech help setting up your wifi network.
Hope this checklist helps you out. Just want to make sure you’re further prepared for home remote tech school for the kiddos!