During the holidays, kids usually use technology for fun and games. However, as the summer comes to an end, it is time for them to get serious about a home technology setup that aims to support homework tasks. So, the transition from the holiday fun to the school obligations is much easier for kids. Here are few tips for setting up a technology-enabled workspace at home for students of any age.
Tablets, Laptops, and Desktops
It can be very difficult to choose the best device for your child’s homework. Ideally, you should select one of the countless options available depending on the needs and age of your kids. When they are younger, it will be sufficient for them to have access to a desktop that is in a public family area, and, when they grow older, they may need a laptop for school projects. Then one day you can replace them with something like an Ultrabook, a very thin and light laptop that boots up quickly and has long battery life.
First, in order to create a technology-enabled workspace for a student at home, you should find a well-lit location. In this way projects, paperwork, and supplies can be spread out, while living in harmony with technology. Moreover, proper ergonomics, which means sitting position and distance to the keyboard, help to avoid physical strains. Desktops also make kids who like typing in bed to sit in a chair at a desk and exercise better posture.
A laptop workspace equipped with a full size wireless keyboard, mouse and monitor can provide laptops the same comfort as a desktop. A lapdesk with a thick heat shield coating can be really suitable for kids who are determined to do homework in bed. Some already prefer using tablets for reading. In this case you should choose a spot where the lighting doesn’t cause eye strain on glaring, glossy, high resolution screens.
Wi-Fi and Parental Controls
Wireless routers are great for families with multiple computers and tablets. If your house has Wi-Fi dead spots, for example, a room in the back of the house that is far from the router, then a Wi-Fi booster can help extend coverage.
Some parents separate “gaming” areas around the house from “homework” areas which is a good idea. Sometimes even the most disciplined child cannot resist the urge to play games while doing math problems and grammar worksheets. A student can find many ways to play games or use social networks online during what should be a homework time. In such situation, you can set internet time limits using the house’s wireless router as well as use the operating system’s parental controls. Moreover, these system settings, along with SafeSearch settings on browsers, will help make sure kids are not visiting inappropriate sites, although most of it are banned in Dubai and the rest of U.A.E. Of course, there is no software that can replace a family talk about homework.
Response time may slow if multiple devices are accessing the internet. You should ask your internet service provider if your bandwidth is appropriate for your planned number of multiple devices. New wireless routers also offer great features, including cloud storage, ports for backup drives, improvements in speed and media switching to prioritize high demand services such as video streaming.
Tech Accessories and Peripherals
Some kids like to listen to music while they do their homework. In this case wireless speakers or speaker docks that charge will be a good opportunity for them to stream their music while they study. Also add an all-in-one wireless printer, so that kids will be able to print from any device in the house and scan class handouts into electronic form. Students who plan to scan a large volume of documents may find a dedicated wireless scanner that can handle multiple documents of different sizes pretty helpful. A graphing calculator for math and science class is another great back-to-school tech accessory.
Some schools now use the cloud to store homework assignments and families can use this technology as well to access media from any device. Backup drives are great for storing files like the videos kids create for their school presentations. You may also look into installing a dedicated home media streamer or cloud server. For simple mobile storage, kids may also need a 2-8 GB USB drive that can be personalized with different designs.
These are some of the devices you may use to set up the best technology-enabled workspace for your student at home. You are welcome to share your ideas in the comments section bellow.