While some universities have not decided if they will re-open in the fall, others have already made the decision to keep classes online. If you already know that your university is planning to offer most, if not all, classes remotely this fall, there are a variety of supplies you can stock up on to prepare for a successful semester. Notebooks, whiteboards, and even mobile apps will be your best friend during this time.
Online classes can be a pain, especially if you aren’t used to taking them. Both professors and students continue to experience growing pains as the Spring semester winds down. Part of this struggle might have stemmed from the sudden switch to online schooling by universities across the country. Most professors and students did not have enough time or help to adequately prepare for online schooling. By knowing that the fall semester will take place online, you at least have the advantage of properly preparing for your new virtual schooling.
In order to help you fully prepare for an online semester, we have compiled a list of must-have items for helping you succeed in your virtual schooling.
Don’t Forget to Add These Must-Have Items to Your Back-to-School Shopping Cart
Learn how to stay organized in college as universities continue to switch to online schooling
It is understandable to feel disappointed, even a little angry, after learning that your university will remain closed for the fall. Should you decide to enroll in any of the new online classes your college begins to offer in the fall, there are a variety of tools you can utilize to help make the most of your semester. From color-coded notebooks to mobile apps for team projects, we are reviewing the top 7 organizational tools for helping you ace this upcoming semester.
1. Wall Hooks
Keep your most-needed supplies within an arm’s reach
If your childhood bedroom is not properly set-up for working or learning from home, now is the time to give it a little makeover. Start by clearing up the space. If your room is on the smaller side, purchase a few wall hooks for hanging up jackets, bags, keys, and more. Not only are wall hooks perfect for clearing up space, but they also allow you to keep your most-needed items at your fingertips.
If you are looking for a stylish, yet practical set of hooks, check out the SCHNOOK Over-the-Door Multi-Hook set by OCM. Made of stamped metal with a sleek nickel finish, the SCHNOOK wall set is perfect for keeping your room organized. Instead of having to drill holes in the wall, users can simply hang their hooks over their doors. Both ends of the hooks are protected with black rubber to prevent them from falling off the door or damaging your items.
2. Dry Erase Boards or Chalkboards
Students can practice chemistry problems, memorize French vocabulary, and more with a dry erase board or chalkboard
Back before the start of the pandemic, college students could be spotted desperately hunting down a whiteboard or chalkboard in the library. Now that you are stuck at home, you can finally invest in a personal whiteboard or chalkboard for yourself.
Dry erase boards and chalkboards typically come in a variety of sizes. Some students prefer using a large-poster sized dry erase board that they then plaster on their walls. Others prefer a more portable dry erase board that can be stored away when they are finished. Students can also purchase dry erase board calendars to keep track of assignments and deadlines.
Multi-piece whiteboards containing a calendar, tack board, message board, and weekly planner are also popular amongst students. For instance, the Message Center Organization Kit by OCM is designed to function as a crisp and functional wall organizer for college students. Users can write in their monthly events, upcoming deadlines for the week, and daily reminders.
Don’t forget to purchase some colorful markers and chalk to keep your whiteboard fun and creative!
3. Bedside Buddies
Keep your favorite study aids beside you
Sometimes, you just aren’t going to feel like getting out of bed to study or tune into your class conference call. That’s okay — just make sure you have your Bedside Buddy beside you to get your day started off right. Made of strong, durable canvas with three pockets, the Bedside Buddy is perfect for storing study-in-bed items including your cell phone, planner, pens, glasses, and more. Keep it nearby on your nightstand or desk. When it’s time to start class, you will barely have to lift a finger to retrieve your supplies.
4. Mobile and Desktop Apps
Stay on track with assignments using these popular apps
Having trouble keeping your assignments organized? There’s an app for that. While online learning will likely take a while for college students to adjust to, there are a variety of mobile and desktop apps you can take advantage of to help make your transition to virtual learning much easier. Check out our favorites apps below!
- Khan Academy: Does your calculus class sound like Ancient Greek to you? Are you having trouble solving your organic chemistry homework? Khan Academy is a highly-rated, online educational program for students struggling with science, math, computing, finance, and humanities courses. Students can download the Khan Academy or access courses through its official website.
- TED: Enhance your online learning with free TED Talks. You can watch videos on anything from the ancient Aztecs to the health care system in Europe. Take advantage of these free courses now to become a more informative, well-rounded student.
- CliffsNotes: While you shouldn’t substitute CliffsNotes for reading the actual book, the app is helpful for students who just want a quick refresher on Hamlet or The Great Gatsby.
- Google Drive: Have a team project coming up? Instead of wasting time trying to email items back and forth and creating multiple text message groups, keep all of your files in one place with Google Drive. In an instant, you can share documents, presentations, and spreadsheets to your teammates. Together, you can discuss and edit certain parts of the project in real-time.
- Quizlet: Make studying easy and simple with Quizlet. Students can create flashcards, quizzes, and games to help them study important terms and concepts for classes.
5. Notebooks and Writing Utensils
Remember — you will still need to take notes for your distance learning classes!
If you are one of those students who prefer writing down notes manually or keeping track of assignments in a traditional planner, remember to purchase some notebooks and utensils for the upcoming semester. Even if you don’t usually take notes on paper, it is never too late to change your habits. While it might be tempting to rely on video recordings from past lectures or lesson slides uploaded by your professor for studying, taking manual notes has been proven to help students remember material better than typing or either of those two aforementioned methods.
Don’t be afraid to change it up with color-coded notebooks and colored highlighters. Many students find them effective in keeping study materials organized. Folders or binders may also be helpful, especially for those classes where you are going to be packing a ton of information into a tiny span of time.
6. Extra Computer Monitor
If you hate having a crowded screen, consider investing in an extra monitor
Attempting to manage multiple open pages and applications at once can be frustrating. For instance, attempting to follow your professor’s lecture while reading through their slides can quickly become confusing and difficult with just one monitor. Or, sometimes, you want to have all of your research materials and notes in front of you when working on a project.
To help yourself stay organized, you might want to consider investing in an extra monitor. Dual monitors have been proven to increase productivity, improve user experience, and allow for successful multi-tasking.
Tune out your loud family members and get to work
If you don’t have a pair already, it is time to invest in some high-quality headphones. Many headphones that are currently on the market feature active noise cancellation, hands-free calling, and wireless designs. Throw on a pair when it is time for lecture. Not only can you block out the noise of your family, but you can also save them from having to overhear your conference call. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
As we continue to adjust to the “new normal” that the pandemic has brought to the country, it is important to take advantage of all the resources that universities and businesses are offering students to help get them through it. What supplies have you relied on for keeping your grades up during this pandemic? Tell us in the comments below!