Distance learning is becoming a more and more popular option not just for adults with careers, but for all college students. Distance learning allows college students to study at their convenience and may even help some students graduate earlier. Having the right school supplies is essential for success in distance learning. And, the supplies needed are different than those needed for a traditional college classroom. The following are some of the top must haves for distance learning school supplies.
Stable Internet Connection
It seems odd to think of an internet connection as a school supply, but this is one of the most important things you need for distance learning. Without a stable internet connection, you can find yourself falling behind and not being able to turn assignments in on time, both of which can ruin your grades. Some colleges offer free internet connections to distance learning students, but it’s usually a dial up connection. For the fastest service, find a reliable company that offers DSL or a FiOS connection.
You will obviously need software to complete your assignments. Many distance learning colleges offer flexibility between Windows and Mac operating systems, but may require an up to date version of the software. The same goes for browsers. You need to make sure you have the right browser and version to access the college’s distance learning website. You will also need a word processing program that can save documents in RTF, which most colleges use. Lastly, some classes may require additional software, check the class syllabus for more details.
Desk Calendar or Planner
If you have a desk, a desk calendar is the best option for planning distance learning assignments. Many distance learning courses give a schedule for the entire semester. Using a desk calendar, you can write down all your assignments and quickly see what is due each month. If you don’t have a desk, a planner will also work, just make sure to find one that offers monthly layouts as well as weekly.
Distance learning doesn’t give you the one on one time that some traditional college based courses offer. That’s why you need to have the contact information for your instructors in an easy to find location. An address book, digital or traditional, should be used to keep an email address and phone number of each instructor and other important faculty members, such as financial aid officers.
You may not always want to work on your assignments at home. If you don’t have a laptop, a flash drive allows you to easily take assignments with you. It’s also a good idea to save assignments on a flash drive just in case your computer decides to crash. Having a backup copy of assignments can prevent you from having to start that major research paper over from scratch.