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Back to School Checklist for Remote Learning

School is looking a little different this semester. Okay, a lot different. Some of us are grabbing our masks and portable hand sanitizers as we brace ourselves for life on campus. On the other hand, many of us - including myself - are spending their semester on Zoom, taking classes from the comfort of their own homes. It’s a pretty big adjustment to make, especially when we’re all used to running around campus to make it to class on time. It’s going to be a challenge getting the hang of simply logging in to attend class, rather than physically getting there.

If you’re someone who chose to take classes remotely this semester, there are a few things you may want to get your hands on to ensure your academic success.

1. Charger(s)

This may be an obvious one, but the last thing you want is for your laptop’s battery to die in the middle of a virtual lecture. To avoid scrambling for a charger at the last minute, make sure it’s somewhere nearby while you’re attending class. Also, you may want to make sure your laptop, tablet or whatever device you use for distance learning is fully charged before you even sign into Zoom.

2. Planner or Calendar

A lot of students may think that because classes are online, they don’t need to write down their upcoming assignments. However, it’s a good idea to organize everything you need to do for school into a daily planner or calendar. This will help you plan ahead and keep you on top of things. Take note of major deadlines and due dates!

3. Workspace

Whether your workspace is a desk in your bedroom or at your kitchen table, make sure it’s a safe, quiet spot for you to get your work done and attend your virtual lectures. Try designating one area for all things school-related to create the illusion of “going to class.” 

4. Virtual Backgrounds

This one may sound silly, but virtual backgrounds that you can upload to Zoom while your camera is on may actually make going to class more fun. As long as your backgrounds are school-appropriate and aren’t distracting to the rest of the class, using virtual backgrounds are a great way to keep your home life private. You can even set your backdrop to a picture of a classroom to create the illusion that you’re in school!

5. Flash Drive/Google Drive

The worst feeling in the world is losing a document you thought you had saved on your computer. To avoid losing all of your hard work, I recommend backing everything up to an external hard drive, which will allow for your homework to become portable without taking up too much space on your laptop. Google Drive is also a great tool to use because it automatically saves your work as you’re doing it. I like to do my assignments in Google Drive and then save them as Word documents on a separate hard drive. That way, I know I won’t lose any of my work.

6. Headphones

If your professor allows you to use headphones or earbuds while you attend their virtual class, I recommend taking advantage of them. Wearing headphones will keep you focused on the sound of your professor’s voice, rather than the noises taking place around you. Also, if your headphones have a built-in microphone, it will help your professor and classmates hear your voice more clearly.

This fall semester is different for everyone, but if you get the things you need to succeed, it’ll be a piece of cake!


Angelica Pizza

Coastal Carolina '21

Angelica is a student at Coastal Carolina University studying communication, journalism and women's and gender studies. She has a passion for writing and hopes to pursue a career as a writer or editor for a magazine.
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