An Ode to the Second Monitor: Remote Learning Tips

second monitor

It’s back to school time! And most of America is starting to settle into the groove of remote or virtual education, Some students are doing a hybrid online/in-person model. Some are all remote. But for the first time in history, I’m suspecting almost every student in America is learning online in some way. What’s my number one tip for learning online? Using a second monitor.

I’ve worked full-time remotely for eight years, I’ve worked in my own office at home, my bedroom, the mudroom, and kitchen. I’ve worked in different countries and in airports and vacation spots. If my laptop is working and I have good a Internet connection, I’m good to go. But always, there doesn’t seem to be enough “space” on my screen. I’m always not on the screen I need. I’m flipping between video chats or different browser tabs or email. At home, at my desk, the second screen carries some of that load.

RELATED: The Coming ‘Hybrid’ College Education

A second monitor allows you to see multiple needs at once. It will allow a student to keep notes and other student needs on screen as well as a Zoom video chat.

Will it also allow other things like games or social media to be displayed? Yep, sure. But if they’re using a school computer, it’s not going to display anything differently than they could within that screen.

It’s Just a Monitor

Now, let’s not get confused here. I’m not supporting the need for a second computer. One is definitely enough. But a second monitor can be added to your computer through an HDMI or other ports. Head to your display functions, and set them to extend your desktop. Voila. Double the space.

Most monitors are fairly inexpensive too. Check out some of the prices at Amazon, or be on the lookout for early Black Friday deals. You’ll love it quickly, I promise.

A cartoon by Brooke Bourgeois.

Posted by The New Yorker Cartoons on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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