These sure are busy times right now for parents up and down New Zealand - juggling working from home and looking after the kids, and now, many of us are also putting on a new hat as their home-school teaching assistant.
The good news is, professional educators and schools have put a lot of effort into creating lesson planners already, and we're all going to get through this together. We'll cover the best hardware available for creating this new 'learning space', adding new items as our own experience grows from going through this all with our families too.
Much like the home office setups we just created for ourselves, having a space that's designed for education will help the kids adjust to learning from home and also help them to keep focus.
A Laptop + Mouse + Mouse Pad combo is a great place to start because, for many of us, this new 'space' will likely have to be the dining room table, so having a setup that's easy to set up and put away will be ideal. Touchscreens laptops are a great alternative when space is so limited that you won't have a surface to place the mouse on (like learning in the living room).
Having a computer mouse will help a lot with productivity, it's a lot better than a touch pad, but it's important to combine this with a mouse pad just in case the table surface isn't flat enough for the sensor on the mouse to work properly.
Giving them their own set of headphones to use is helpful for keeping focus, both for them and for you if you're working at the same time. PB Tech stocks a range of headphones suitable for smaller heads and with kid safety features such as volume limiters.
Depending on the type of lesson, you may want to connect your kids' laptop to the TV for a larger screen. Chromecasts and Chromebooks are ideal for this, if a laptop has HDMI out on it simply buying a long HDMI-HDMI cable is another great solution.
If you'd rather they had a screen of their own, rather than using the TV, you can easily add a monitor to their setup provided it has the HDMI input needed to connect the cable or chromecast. If you're wanting to use a Chromecast with a Windows 10 laptop that's no problem either - you can still steam your screen by using the chrome browser!
There are some ARMS that hold both a laptop and a monitor too, allowing you to create a desk space saving setup in a range of unique ways. This can be ideal for the makeshift educational space too because of how easy it is to adjust when needed, literally moving hardware out of the way then swinging in back into place when you need too.
Having all this new tech in the house is going to require some additional power plugs. PB Tech stock a range power boards with surge protection features that will allow you plug in multiple laptops, monitors and more.
If you've got the space, having a dedicated desk is a great option for sure. The latest height-adjustable models might be a little more expensive than a standard one right now, but the height adjustment feature is really great.
From here it's all about getting the right accessories depending on your own unique situation, see below for WiFi Range Extenders, full sized Keyboard & Mouse combos (for those with the space) and more amazing Laptops! We'll continue to update with more helpful information so be sure to keep your eyes on PB Tech Tips & News for the latest!