From Green Ivy Educational Consulting
Let’s face it: this school year will be unlike any other in modern history.
Schools across the country are going back to school remotely, in-person and in hybrid versions of both remote and in-person learning, and we’re all finding ways to navigate unexpected transitions as smoothly as possible.
We know the prospect of remote learning can be exhausting and stressful to many students, and our focus has always been first and foremost on making sure students have the support to prioritize their mental health and emotional wellness.
Research suggests that students experiencing stress and trauma have decreased fluency around executive functioning skills — that is, organizing, planning, prioritizing and focusing on task initiation and completion. It’s not hard to imagine why — we all have a lot on our minds these days.
Still, as we begin to plan and visualize the next few months, we find it can be helpful to spend some time focusing on the basics: supplies.
So, we’ve put together a detailed list of important educational materials for remote learning.
1. Paper Planners
In our world at Green Ivy Educational Consulting, paper planners are the holy grail of back-to-school items. Especially in the context of remote learning, paper planners provide much-needed relief and structure for students managing a wide range of assignments, meetings, and extracurriculars.
Headphones can be an indispensable tool for many students, especially in the context of remote learning. Options include: simple low-cost wired earbuds, noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, bluetooth headphones, or wireless earbuds such as Apple AirPods. Regardless of the specific brand or model, headphones are super useful for blocking out distractions during remote class meetings and homework blocks.
3. Binders and Binder Paper
Due to the shift to digital learning, many students will be tempted to type their class and homework notes onto Google or Word documents. However, significant research suggests that using physical materials to record information helps the brain absorb and retain concepts (side note: this is another reason why we recommend paper planners!).
Although students will have varying levels of need for calculators depending on their grade, it’s worth investing in a dependable calculator to facilitate math learning at all ages. Even if mental math is a priority, calculators can be useful when checking work for mistakes!
5. Devices and Laptops
The widespread pivot to remote-learning means that most students will need regular access to a desktop computer, laptop, and/or tablet device.
6. Cardboard Dividers/Privacy Shields
Many families have multiple students in the household and face added challenges around sharing workspaces. To prioritize concentration and minimize distractions, students can use “privacy shields,” which create a clearly delineated study space and block distractions from view. Students can create their own dividers out of cardboard and decorate them for a personalized touch. Alternatively, families can purchase quality shields at privacyshields.com.
7. Ergonomic Mice and Keyboards
Families can take their workspaces to the next level by investing in ergonomic tools (workspace supplements that emphasize comfort, straighten posture, and reduce hand and wrist strain).