2020 is the mother of all rough years. But, let’s face it. Students have it particularly rough in any case. COVID-19 has only made it tougher. Most education systems weren’t designed for remote learning. However, given the grave pandemic impacting people across all demographics, there was only one option. Universities and schools had to suspend in-person classes and make efforts to shift to a much safer model i.e. education through various tools available.
In the United States of America, internet penetration is extremely high. Many services like Spectrum internet are readily available, thanks to providers expanding and improving their infrastructure. This is one reason why learning managed to continue in the US. Especially when the US is one of the worst-hit countries in terms of infections, fatalities, and economic fallout. It’s really not easy being a student in times like these. They are deprived of in-class lectures, social interactions, and rite-of-passing events like prom night. It’s a wonder they’re still managing to cope. To help out students in 2020, this blog lists 7 items to make the learning process easier.
1. EBook Reader
Especially in universities, students have to buy expensive textbooks for different courses. Many of these aren’t just expensive, but also take up a lot of space. They’re heavy, clunky, and if you’re not careful, they can take over your living space. That’s not to mention the obvious environmental impact of thousands of updated editions of the same textbook every year. So what can a student use as an alternative in 2020? eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle are a deceptively simple solution. The eBook reader should be compatible with most formats that textbooks usually come in. Not only do you save space, but you can do your part to help the ecology and cut down on paper consumption.
2. Shockproof External HDD
There’s no denying students are relying on devices like their laptops and smartphones more than ever. Modern learning encourages students to research for assignments, projects, and other activities. That means an average student likely has several GBs of learning data stored on their devices. That’s not to mention that your data from 101 courses can still be of use in your sophomore year. Now imagine if you damaged your laptop and the hard drive was damaged. You’ll likely lose most of your data and study notes and other important learning material. External shockproof hard drives are designed for exactly this contingency. Some models are even resistant to electromagnetic interference. They can greatly reduce the risk of your data if you drop or damage the drive.
3. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Most students are attending some form of online classes. This usually involves a video conferencing platform like Zoom that all class participants and lecturers can join. You can communicate using the mic and speakers that come with your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Unfortunately, most factory-fitted audio hardware is not designed for this. Your online lectures could be interrupted by disturbances at your end or at anyone else in the conference. In 2020, students can’t do without a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. These headphones filter out external and ambient noises, ensuring an interruption-free experience. That way you don’t miss out on any important bits of lectures. In leisure time, use the headphones to rock out to your favorite tunes.
4. Smart Notebook
A smart notebook is exactly what it sounds like. Conventional notebooks consist of a bunch of pages bound together. Once you run out of pages, you need to buy a new notebook. This approach has contributed to mass deforestation and the problems that come with it. In the age of IoT and smart devices, why should you continue to use a standard notebook? A smart notebook is the 21st Century solution. You write in the notebook using a special pen. Once you’re done, the accompanying smartphone app scans and saves your notes. These can be accessed from your phone or laptop later on. You can continue to use the notebook for as long as you want.
5. Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Laptops often develop problems as they get older. It’s not common for speakers to lose sound quality and volume as time goes on. But as a student, you likely don’t have time for a costly repair job. And there’s really no telling if the problem won’t come back after the repairs either. The best option is to invest in a good-quality Bluetooth speaker. Modern portable speakers punch way above their weight. You can take them anywhere and connect them to virtually any device. You can even connect them to your television set to catch some relaxing entertainment as I do on my Spectrum TV. Students can even charge them using the same battery bank they use for smartphones. If you’re having trouble listening to lectures, a decent Bluetooth speaker should solve that problem.