Though many details about how students will return to school in the fall remain unknown, it’s increasingly likely that some amount of schoolwork will occur at home and on the computer. Whether your child will be using a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, preparing your tech for daily use is just one more way to set students up for success. Here are our top suggestions for how to ready your child’s workstation for back-to-school—minus the call to tech support.
- Start strong: Remote learning should be conducted in a quiet, well-lit space with a solid internet connection. Background noise is even more distracting for online work than work in person, so if your child can’t find a silent place to work, encourage them to use headphones. For younger children, using a mouse may be easier than a tracking pad. For more tips, check out our blog on creating a remote learning environment.
- Close unused tabs and open programs: Slow processing speed can be helped by taking care to close programs and tabs you aren’t using. Some software, like Google Chrome and Microsoft Word, can take extra effort for computers to run, so keeping other programs to a minimum during lessons can avoid lag. Minimize distractions during remote learning by closing games, social media accounts, and entertainment sites.
- Keep it clean: Food and drinks should be kept away from tablets, computers, and keyboards to avoid spills, which can lead to expensive repairs or replacements, as well as distractions during lessons. Keeping your technology clean, including occasionally using compressed air to clean out fans and ports, can greatly extend the lifespan. Encourage kids to take ownership of their workspace and computer or tablet by cleaning it after each use.
- Stay cool: Laptops are especially susceptible to battery drain and wear and tear caused by overheating, but keeping tech cool is important across the board. Take care to keep the area around your computer ventilated and fans unblocked. Similarly, don’t house PC towers in cabinets or near heat sources.
- Restart your computer on occasion: Though you might want to leave your tech running all day, every day, it’s a good idea to give tablets and computers a chance to restart every now and then. Generally, a restart every few days is enough, but restarting your computer daily can contribute to overheating, reducing the lifespan of some components.
- Unplug laptops regularly: Leaving tablets and laptops plugged in constantly can result in battery drain. According to Battery University, you can extend the life of your battery by letting power drain to less than 50 percent before plugging in. Then, unplug once the battery has reached 80 percent power. However, keep a cord and outlet handy or leave laptops plugged in during virtual learning to avoid accidental shutdowns.
- Perform regular system maintenance: Keeping the operating system updated can help aging computers from lagging behind and keep newer computers running smoothly. Consider running disk cleanup programs as well as checking for software updates weekly.
For more back-to-school support—including executive functioning development, test prep help, college admissions assistance, and elementary education—contact our team.