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Tech Tips + Tricks - Remote Learning/Education

7th January 2021
As remote learning comes into place throughout the UK, more families will be relying on technology now more than ever. We wanted to share some tips and tricks which may help both pupils and parents along the way, to make the experience easier for the whole family.



Can I access remote learning via gaming consoles?


Limited access to devices? Well, we have good news for you! You can utilise your child's gaming console as a way to access not only the internet but learning platforms and remote learning applications.

Follow the steps below to get connected:


Xbox console:
  1. Plug a keyboard/mouse into the USB slot.
  2. Go to My Games and Apps.
  3. Find and select Microsoft Edge.
  4. Navigate to your online learning platform.

PlayStation console
  1. Click on the web browser icon.
  2. Press the PlayStation logo on the PlayStation controller.
  3. Go to Library - Games and Applications
  4. Find the internet browser within the applications.
  5. Navigate to your online learning platform and login.

If you're using a PlayStation 5- the easiest way to access the browser is by going to the system settings, and load up the User's Guide, which opens the PS5's browser.

Can I strengthen my home Wi-Fi connection?


You're probably used to the words 'Zoom' and 'Google Meet' by now and have more than likely experienced the annoyance of audio or visuals dropping out due to your internet connection.   



A great way to achieve clear audio and visuals is by implementing a Wi-Fi extender into your home. You see, Wi-Fi has a limited range and can become interrupted with many things in your home such as other devices, and even concrete or brick walls! An extender allows you to achieve a better connection, by picking up signals from your router and repeating it in other areas in your home. We recommend the Netgear EX2700 Wi-Fi Range Extender which you can purchase today for under £20.

How can I improve distanced learning audio quality?



Shouting at your laptop screen to drown out the background noise isn't ideal for anyone. Invest in a comfortable headset which has a microphone built-in, making concentration easier, and for a more comfortable remote learning experience. Some headsets will even block out background noise- perfect for concentration! A great option under £30 is the Microsoft Lifechat LX-3000 which features a noise-cancelling microphone. For those looking to spend a bit more, a gaming headset is a great option- they're not just for gaming! A well-built gaming headset provided added comfort and sound quality (plus, can obviously be used for your child's gaming console during after-school hours!).

How do I add an extra screen to my device?



Laptop screen uncomfortably small? Need to expand your visuals? We get it. It can be hard to focus and organise your work if your setup isn't comfortable. A quick and easy fix only requires a second screen and a HDMI cable! Using the cable, simply connect the laptop/device to a monitor so your child can work off dual screens. Not looking to purchase a monitor? No problem! A TV will do just the trick if it is compatible with HDMI- just check the ports on the TV to see whether it is or not.

Windows devices:

Once your HDMI is connected and your monitor/tv is turned on, go to Settings - Display Settings - Multiple Monitors. Here you can either mirror the screen for a larger viewing experience or extend the screen so your child can work from both monitors.

Apple Devices:

Check the ports on your Mac to see whether or not you need an adapter/hub. If your device does require one, a great option is the Acer 7-in-1 Type-C dongle.

Once your external screen is connected and turned on, go to the Apple Menu - System Preferences - Displays - Arrangement. Here you can adjust your display and connect to the external monitor.

How do I turn off notifications on my devices?


 

Notifications can become a huge distraction and lessen productivity when you're trying to focus. Follow these steps to ensure your child keeps focused.

  • 1. Turn on 'do not disturb' options on smartphones if needed. This silences calls, alerts and notifications.
    • On Apple iPhone: Go to Settings - Do Not Disturb. Schedule this for when it's time to work/learn.
    • On Android: Go to Settings - Sound & Notification - Do Not Disturb
    • On Samsung: Go to Settings - Notifications - Turn on Do Not Disturb
  • 2. On Windows 10 devices, you can turn on Focus Assist which allows you to control which notifications you want to allow. To turn this on, go to Settings - Focus Assist.
  • 3. On Apple Mac computers you can adjust notifications by clicking the Apple icon on the top left - System Preferences - Notifications.

We hope these tech tips help you in your learning from the home journey! Don't forget to share this post with your friends and family or to those who may find it useful.  

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