5 Must-Haves For Effective High School Zoom Classes
With the recent coronavirus pandemic, most interactions and activities have shifted online. The highly contagious nature of the virus drove everyone to stay inside their houses to avoid physical contact and further spread of the virus.
Schools are one of the sectors that are hugely affected by the pandemic. Its highly physical nature makes schools a potential spreading ground for the virus. Because of this, most of the schools shifted to distance or remote learning, a method of educating students without them needing to be physically present in school.
Zoom has been a popular choice to conduct distance learning. It is a live-video platform where different schools can conduct classes online. It can be installed easily in any device.
Even with Zoom that made virtual human to human interaction easier, the sudden shift to distance learning by almost all schools poses challenges to both the schools and the students. Both parties need to have the proper equipment where they can install Zoom in order to conduct a synchronous class online.
Your high school child may have worked with computers and video conferencing applications before but it is a good measure to ensure that your child has everything he/she needs to catch up with the enforced distance learning.
What equipment for Zoom classes should high school students have?
Although Zoom can be flexible, sessions that are done in a regular basis should be done with proper equipment and tools. By ensuring this, technical difficulties can be avoided by your high schooler durin their Zoom classes.
Even though Zoom can be installed in tablets and mobile phones, it is recommended to use a desktop computer or a laptop with a good processor in conducting and attending Zoom classes. Zoom consumes a significant amount of memory and bandwidth while used, meaning it needs a stable processor that can accommodate its technical requirements. This is to prevent lagging in video and audio, which will lead to more effective Zoom classes for your high schooler. Make sure that when you buy their desktop or laptop, look for these specifications:
Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7
RAM: 4GB or 8GB
The choices for laptops and desktops can be dizzying as many models are released by different brands in a year. Based on our research, we found that Dell XPS 13 is the most recommended laptop for Zoom classes.
Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13 ticks off the most important requirements of Zoom. It has Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM. It is also lightweight, which makes it portable. It has a spacious screen and long battery life, making it worth its price.
In order to hear other participants in their Zoom classes, a good headset is also a must-have, especially if your child has a desktop computer. In addition, built-in speakers in laptops often deliver unclear sound. So, it is still ideal to use headphones to hear more clearly. Jabra Evolve 80 is a professional headset that have active noise cancellation feature. With the touch of a button, all low frequency background noise, such as human talking, will be eliminated. So even if the environment is busy, it will help your child keep focus.
Jabra Evolve 80
With its active noise cancelling feature, focus is guaranteed. Audio will also be delivered more clearly because there are no unnecessary low-frequency sounds that can be heard while doing a Zoom call.
3. Ergonomic Table and Chair
Herman Miller Aeron Chair
Chiropractors recommend Herman Miller Aeron Chair because of its high adjustability. Its lumbar support for the spine and armrests can be set according to the body using the chair. It has three size options so all body frames can still sit properly on this chair. Its mesh material adjusts to temperature changes that help maintain the body’s temperature.
SHW Electric Computer Desk
The SHW Electric Computer Desk is a sit/stand desk that can be adjusted with an electric motor. It is easy to adjust to match the right working angle for the arms. Its motor works quietly when adjusting. Its elegant look is already a plus for its functionality.
4. USB Keyboard and Mouse
The keyboard and mouse are occasionally used in a Zoom class. However, these are essential for your high schooler’s other academic needs and requirements. It is not recommended to use the built-in keyboard in the laptop because it can only handle much keystrokes at a time. The track pad also loses its response rate when used more often. Posture can also be affected if both the built-in keyboard and track pad will be used more frequently because it makes the user bend down to a less ideal body angle. A separate keyboard and mouse are a must especially for typing multiple projects and papers and researching online. As high school students deal with tons of paper works, typing and scrolling will be constant activities of your child aside from attending Zoom classes.
Logitech K780 Multi-Device Keyboard
Logitech K780 is a multi-device keyboard that gives a superior typing experience. It can connect to these devices through USB or Bluetooth. Through an easy-switch button on the keyboard, switching between the devices is made convenient. It is a compact but full-sized keyboard so there is still a numeric pad at the side. It also has a tablet and smartphone stand, which makes it a good choice for those that use multiple devices.
Logitech MX Master 3
Logitech MX Master 3 can look a little weird at first but it is one of the highly recommended mouse by technology review sites. It is wireless and can last up to 70 days in a single charge. It is highly ergonomic as it has a solid wrist support that provides comfort for the wrist that reduces the risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It can also be paired with up to three separate devices.
5. Drawing Tablet
Using drawing tablets might require a learning curve for your high schooler. But this is a must-have especially if your child wants to pursue digital art. Drawing tablets are helpful when scribbling notes and drawing art for certain projects. It can also be used as a substitute for the laptop’s track pad as it also has its tracking functions. This can also be useful while presenting in a Zoom class.
Wacom Intuos S
Wacom Intuos S is hailed by The New York Times Wirecutter as the best drawing tablet for beginners. It is the most customizable graphics tablet that will not break the bank. The pen can sustain long drawing sessions and has less input lags. The dot grid is helpful for works that need precision and straight lines, such as drafting.
Distance learning can have a learning curve. But if your high school child has the proper equipment for their Zoom classes, remote learning can be fun and a breeze to set up.