Essential Equipment for Teaching Online Classes
June 18, 2021
12 min read
With the world moving online, everyone has access to education. Be it as a teacher or educator, or as a student. But an important aspect of teaching and learning is the supplies. To ensure effective learning it is also important to be up to date with the technology used to deliver the courses.
This short article gives you a comprehensive list of all the supplies you will need to start or improve your lectures. We have included some of the best products from our choice as well, along with some personal accessories to make your environment better while you’re at the job. To make your navigation easier, we’ll refer to this image below and divide the article according to three main areas: Desk, Lighting, and Background.
The desk area is probably the most vast and customizable part of this setup. As you can see, this area ranges from a standing desk to your snacking needs!
Ideally, any online educator ends up spending tons of hours teaching their students. As smooth as this process is, it's also time-consuming. Thus , it is important to be comfortable. A set of desk and chair will not only keep you comfortable for long hours, but also benefit you by keeping your back straight. This also gives a more professional look to your setup.
We highly recommend this standing desk by VIVO which comes with a keyboard tray attached. An alternative to a standing desk would obviously be a normal desk. In this case, you might need a laptop table or mobile holder to keep the device at eye-level.
To keep you comfortable and safe, this ergonomic chair by Oline is the perfect match. It gives your back and arms the support it needs while also looking sleek and stylish in any space.
A laptop stand is a necessity to keep your posture correct throughout the day. A chair is sometimes not enough to keep our back straight, and soon the urge to hunch over takes over. To make sure your posture remains correct, a laptop stand is the perfect device.
It puts your laptop at a height and prevents any strain on your neck or back, while also keeping the laptop at eye level which is better for live as well as recorded lessons. We recommend the Nulaxy Laptop Stand which is made of aluminium and also compatible with a wide range of laptops.
In case you teach using a mobile, remember to get a mobile holder instead of the laptop stand. It serves the same purpose, only with a mobile. We recommend this adjustable cell phone stand, which too, is compatible with a range of mobiles and is made of aluminium.
A mobile holder becomes almost a necessity if you teach dance, yoga, or other activities like such. In this case, we recommend buying a flexible phone tripod with wireless remote to ensure a hassle-free experience.
Using the touchpad continuously can hurt your wrist sometimes. It also makes it slightly more difficult to navigate seamlessly. Consider investing in a mouse with ergonomic support or a mouse pad with wrist support to save your wrist from failing on you. This Ergonomic Mouse Pad with Gel Support is non-slip as well as it caters to your support needs.
Most of the in-built keyboards make a noise when you’re clicking the keys. This can get annoying for you and your students after a while. Thus it is better to keep a quiet keyboard handy. If you want to go wireless, there are a range of bluetooth keyboards available today, like the Arteck Ultra Slim Keyboard.
Pen tablets, also called “digital writing pads”, provide great flexibility in online classes. These will allow you to draw or write on the screen and also share it with your students even during live sessions. A mouse makes this a tedious task though. This is why pen tablets provide you with tools that resemble pen and paper. These sets include a stylus which you can use to draw on the tablet. Deco 01 V2 by XP Pen allows you to do all this and more!
A good quality headset with a microphone is another crucial part of any online class. It is important to pick the right model that not only suits your requirements but also enables clear and effective communication with your students. It eliminates any background noises or disturbances thus clarifying your voice further. These headsets by TaoTronic are noise cancelling as well as connect via bluetooth. They’re easy to carry as well.
Instead of choosing a headset with a built in microphone, you could also opt for an external, separate mic. These usually provide better audio quality as well. If you’re looking online for a microphone, we’d recommend the Blue Yeti USB Mic.
Keeping desk plants while you’re at your job, will not only elevate your aesthetic but will make your area look classier. You can either place them on your desk-top or the larger ones can go beside your desk. We recommend checking out Root Bridges. Not only do they have a great selection of plants but they also have hanging pots, ceramic pots, and planters that will elevate your workspace!
Some plants available in the market also help purify the air which is a great addition if your workspace has no source of natural air.
In case your space doesn’t get any natural light, there are also plants that can survive in minimal sunlight.
It is especially important to keep yourself well-fed and hydrated throughout the day, particularly if your job (even temporarily) is to sit in a chair and record or give live lessons. Make sure to keep healthy snacks at your disposal for a quick break in between classes.
You can either order a Snack Bag Care Package which includes an assortment of different snacks, or you could select specifics as per your choices. We strongly recommend Protein Bakeshop, where you’ll find multiple options for guilt-free snacking and a range of eatables in numerous flavors too!
To keep yourself hydrated, it is better to choose a vacuum, insulated flask. You could also fill them with your daily dose of caffeine. If it feels like a tedious task to get up again and again to refill your bottle, we recommend The Big Bottle Co. Their biggest bottles range from a capacity of 1.5 litres to 2.2 litres, that too, in a variety of colours.
Good lighting is a huge part of online teaching, whether it be synchronous or asynchronous. It not only makes you look professional and elevated, but also makes the video quality better. Good lighting is a must especially if you are a language teacher. It helps your students see the movements and shapes your mouth makes which is a huge part of language acquisition.
There are many kinds of lights available today like LED ring lights, soft boxes, table lamps, overhead lights, and so on. However, we recommend the LED ring light. It greatly eliminates shadows and bumps the quality of your video! We recommend the Selfie Ring by UBeesize if you want to get the best value out of your product.
Before we wrap up, we’d like to discuss some equipment that usually stays in the background (literally) like backdrops and smart boards, and crucial equipment that doesn’t show on camera but is extremely required to keep your sanity, cable management.
Smart boards can be a great alternative for a plain white board. Although they work just fine, SMART boards give an opportunity for interaction and increase engagement. With their extremely high-tech tools, high-quality display, and connectivity through all devices, they’re almost like a one time-investment for online, blended, or in-person classes.
An educational background is always a great option for added professionalism to your lectures. While many companies also require you to have a background, it is also a great way to get creative and provide your students with an added opportunity to interact and engage. Whatever the case may be, a background reduces the elements of distractions from your end which is a huge part of online teaching.
You can either have a static background like a world map, ABC chart, kid-friendly drawings and posters. Another great option is a greenscreen. This allows you to change backgrounds anytime you’d like, thus making it flexible. We recommend this collapsible and portable greenscreen that attaches to your chair so you don’t need to worry about a place to hang it. You can also DIY by simply hanging a green bed sheet or cloth!
The students don't know the amount of wires all these technologies come with. To keep your wires (and sanity) intact, we recommend you use cable management equipment for a more organized teaching space. Head on to Cable Organizer for everything you need to manage your cables.
They’ll almost completely eliminate the stress that comes with tangled wires because let’s face it, we all know the pain of tangled earphones, so we’d rather not.
This was our list of every essential equipment you’d need for your online teaching classes. If you’re yet to start, check out what teachers wish they knew before they started teaching or this guide on how to promote your online classes to students.