Online teachers are in front of their computers a lot more than those in a classroom. Setting up a workstation will help you be efficient and effective. Keep the following in mind to have a comfortable but workable set up:
You probably have a school/district issued laptop. An adequate computer station set up includes a monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, and headset. The monitor ensures you are looking at the screen at eye level and can maintain good posture. Without it, you will be looking down and bending over to see the screen and creating neck, back, and shoulder issues. The wireless keyboard and mouse will help you ensure your hands are in a natural position so you aren’t susceptible to carpal tunnel. You’ll also be able to work faster with them.
Your laptop probably includes a microphone for you to rely on in live sessions, but I plug in airpods. My colleagues seem to be split between plug in and Blue tooth headsets. Some say they love looking like Princess Leia, others say they feel like an airplane pilot manning the skies. Whichever way you want to go, you’ll find plenty of options at a wide price range. Most of all, headsets will help you sound more like you are talking naturally and not yelling into a microphone.
Protect your Laptop!
When we got our kids their first laptop, I asked them to be careful to keep beverages away from them. One of the easiest ways to protect a computer is keeping it away from fluids. Right. Tell that to a teen. Yes, we ended up replacing laptops and I bit my tongue from asking, “didn’t I….” But my daughter was the one that introduced me to computer skins! Get a skin for your keyboard from Amazon and cover at skinit.com
I will confess that I drink my morning latte out of a ceramic coffee mug but I consciously keep it far from my laptop. I keep water and my endless supply of ice tea in a covered tumbler. So, take the steps to be comfortable and careful to protect your laptop from spills.
My life changed when I got an Apple Watch. I became obsessed with ‘closing my rings’. One of the requirements is to stand for at least a minute every hour for twelve hours in the day. I find that I can sit and work for a couple of hours straight and not take a break without the watch reminders. I try to walk around my office when I’m on phone calls. Create breaks in your schedule to step away from your desk and your screen.
A comfortable set up will help you be more productive and healthier in the long run! Take some time to get set up correctly for the beginning of the school year!