Amazon Must-Haves for Distance Learning

I recently wrote a post about finding balance in the midst of teaching online during a pandemic. You can find that post here. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite tools for distance learning. Things that, if I really think about it, help make this sort of teaching a bit easier in one way or another. 

My hope is that maybe one or two of these items might help you solve some issues you're having with distance learning. Neck pain anyone? Back pain anyone?

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Document Camera

Friends, if you use one of these in the classroom, you need to be using one at home. It is my top must have. I don't have the space at home to set up an anchor chart. I can use my doc camera to create mini anchor charts with the students and to project all the kinds of things I used to project in the classroom. I simply share my screen and switch to the doc camera software so the kids can see what they need to see. 

As you can see, I have a super fancy set up here to give the doc camera some extra height. Hehe.

If your school allows you to check out materials, and you haven't already taken advantage of that option, I highly encourage you to check out your document camera. If that isn't an option and you'd like one of your own, you can find the one I purchased by clicking here. A word of caution, these tend to sell out often.

Phone Stand

Here's why I love my little phone stand. It is next to my computer and it allows me to easily see when any Dojo messages are coming in. I have so many tabs open on my computer, there is no way I can toggle between them while I'm teaching to see if a parent has sent a quick message about tech issues, etc. I can also see when my principal has sent me a message.

Ergonomic Foot Rest

Goodness gracious, when I first started distance learning, my back was killing me. I felt like I was 85 years old. Then, I remembered that long ago in my previous work life, I had a desk job (10 hours a day at a desk) and an ergonomic foot rest. I quickly searched Amazon and grabbed this foot rest. It was worth every penny. My back quickly recovered and I've been using the foot rest ever since.

Ergonomic Mouse Pad & Cordless Mouse

If you're prone to wrist pain, these two items will be your best friend. I started out the year wearing a wrist brace. I just wasn't used to this much computer work (I'm also prone to joint pain). Again, I remembered to way back when I had a desk job and an ergonomic mouse pad that helped ease wrist pain. I found this mouse pad on Amazon for super cheap and quickly added it to my cart. 

The wireless mouse may not be as big a deal to others, but for me, it's one less cord to have to battle once papers and manuals are spread all over my desk during the day. I also found the mouse on Amazon.

Laptop Stand

Keeping in line with the whole ergonomic thing, this laptop stand helped to alleviate some neck pain I was also experiencing at the start of the year. It also helps keep my laptop from overheating.

Cozy Chair

I mean, if you're going to sit all day, you might as well have a cute and cozy chair. This one is from Amazon. I love it. It was a bit of a splurge, but I have no regrets.

Tiered Cart

This thing helps me organize all my stuff so that it's also accessible throughout the day. I teach from the loft space in our house. It's a microloft (extremely small) and I have no storage for the materials I need. I can load up this cart and push it against the wall when I'm not teaching. In the morning, I simply pull it next to my desk and can easily grab what I need. 

This cart is from Michaels, but here is a comparable one on Amazon (in case you don't have a Michaels near you).

Expandable File Folders

When they told us we would be required to do reading groups virtually, my jaw dropped. I mean, HOW? Then, I went into action. I use these expandable file folders to store the materials I need for each group. I mostly use Reading A-Z projectable books with my groups, and these file folders allow me to organize the guided reading lesson plans with my notes for each day/group. 

Do you have a distance learning must have? If so, leave it in the comments below!


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