TECH BYTE: Helping Kids Learn from Home

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Not everyone is going back to an actual classroom for school this year.

A lot of kids will be doing it virtually from home. That can make it harder to stay focused.

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Kids not only need the right tech tools to learn, but they also need the right environment to be successful.

Best Buy’s Nathan Roach says there needs to be a good balance between what kids have to do for school, and what they’d like to do for fun.

“Making sure you’re not spending too much time on the games, and you’re spending an appropriate amount of time on the schoolwork,” Roach said.

Students should also have a specific space at home where they can get their work done. The fewer distractions, the better.

“It’s critical that kids have a clean, organized environment that really is free of interruptions,” he said. “If kids are able to slow down and really focus on their schoolwork, it’s proven that they’re going to do better, and providing them with that space helps a ton.”

Having good WiFi is, of course, very important when doing most of their schoolwork online. Without it, it’s tough to get it all done.

“A lot of kids are doing Zoom calls, they’re using Microsoft Office, other programs, so really making sure that you have good quality WiFi, which starts with a router. Making sure that your router’s not outdated. It’s got plenty of power to do the things that you need to do.”

It’s also a good idea to have a printer nearby for printing off assignments, and even copying, scanning, or faxing when needed.

It’s beneficial to give your child’s eyes a break, and have them read from a piece of paper instead of a computer screen.

“There’s a lot of assignments, especially when you think about math, other things like that. There’s a lot of things that it helps kids learn when they’re able to do it on paper,” Roach said. “Being able to print that out, and have kids slow down, and then, plus, it’s good sometimes to look away from the monitor, and actually, where you don’t get that eye fatigue, and so on.”

Using an external monitor, or a larger screen, is also easier on their eyes. You just need an HDMI cable to make it happen.

“Hooking laptops, or desktops up to a TV is actually really simple now. It’s usually one cable, and that will push everything to the TV screen that you have on your computer.”

And if you’re still missing the devices or office furniture you need to do school from home, just head over to bestbuy.com.

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You can watch Emily Cassulo weeknights on News 12 Now starting at 5:30. Emily also does stories on different tech products and issues for Tech Byte, which airs Mondays on News 12 Now. She joined the WDEF news team in September 2016 from News 12’s sister station in Columbus, Mississippi, where she worked as an anchor, producer and reporter. Emily is no stranger to the Volunteer State. Before moving to Mississippi, she worked at WBBJ-TV, covering crime and severe weather throughout West Tennessee. She loves living in Chattanooga, and exploring what the Scenic City has to offer. Emily is a Florida native, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in political science. While in college, Emily worked part-time as a reporter/web producer at News/Talk 96.5 WDBO. She broke her first news story there, which made national headlines, and covered the 2010 Central Florida congressional elections and the high-profile Casey Anthony trial. When she’s not busy reporting, Emily enjoys shopping, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to e-mail her at ecassulo@wdef.com if you have any story ideas or just want to say ‘Hi.’