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Thursday, April 22, 2021

7 Tools You Need for Online Classes in the New Normal

The recent pandemic has brought everyone indoors and online. Students now must adapt to these changes to keep up with the demands of remote learning through online classes.

Many students have found it challenging to shift to the online classroom with struggles ranging from a lack of motivation to difficulties with time management. But no need to worry about this aspect, as several software and applications can help you lighten the load.

Here are the seven tools you need for online classes in the new normal.

1. Converters

With the abundance of readings and assignments, you will find that file conversion tools are your next best friend. Whether it is answering a worksheet in pdf or submitting a requirement that calls for a specific format, bookmarking tried and tested tools will significantly cut your time and effort in half.

While paid services are available, many converters can accomplish the same task, such as converting files from PDF to Word online for free! Not only is this a useful tool for online classes, but it gets the job done. Filling up forms, editing a project, and answering modules have now been made easy. By saving these tabs, you can easily access them when you need them.

PDFBear is a great example of this, offering limitless and watermark-free conversions. With a simple and easy interface, the website is easy to navigate as well.

2. Grammar Checkers

To err is human. Grammatical errors, misplaced punctuation marks, or misspelt words are inevitable. Such mistakes have the potential to negatively affect one’s work. Thus, proofreading is necessary. Unfortunately, with so many requirements, not everyone has the time to thoroughly edit. Indeed, writing essays is no easy feat. However, the struggles of the writing process may be alleviated with just the right tools.

The internet provides students with a plethora of resources for this task. Today, you no longer need to search for professional editors to get your work checked. From the comfort of your own home, you can copy and paste your articles on online grammar checkers, and voila!

The best part is that many of these services are free! Grammarly is a great example of this. This software provides you insights, not just grammatical correctness, but the style and clarity. Duplichecker is also another platform that provides both a plagiarism and grammar checker. It can be quite useful, especially, during online classes.

3. Productivity Apps (aka Anti-Procrastination Apps)

While cellphones have revolutionized the way we work, these developments come with their fair share of downsides. One of which is the all-too-familiar procrastination. The incessant pings of the notification bell, the temptation to try out the new game update, or even the constant habit of checking your phone, have fed this constant urge to procrastinate. While there may be an abundance of distractions, there is also an abundance of solutions.

Several apps and programs have emerged in recent years, which aim to help users with everything from time management to usage regulation. For instance, the Forest app is a useful tool for maintaining focus. Give it a try for a week or even a day. When combatting procrastination, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. To test the available tools and find out which one works best for you!

4. Dictionary & Thesaurus

Dictionaries and thesauruses not only help you comprehend readings but expand your vocabulary as well. When writing essays, repetition, and bland writing is a common problem. Using these tools, you can help spice up your essay writings and impress your teachers with your sharpened vocabulary.

Thankfully, you don’t have to spend too much time rifling through books since both the dictionary and thesaurus are available online. You can look up words on a search engine or download an app like the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary on your phone.

5. Calendar or Schedule Maker

Deadlines and important events can be difficult to keep track of. It is easy to get overwhelmed when all seem to pile up at once. However, when these are plotted out on a calendar, you can avoid stress. Allocating specific time for work and leisure can help you keep up with deadlines without getting burned out. You can accomplish this with a trusty calendar, planner, or schedule maker.

While physical calendars are available, you also have the option to keep track of the tasks that need to be done on your devices. Some phones automatically have a calendar and reminder app that you can use to meet these needs. If you have trouble focusing, then perhaps the physical route is the way to go. It also prevents eye-straining. On the other hand, if you constantly have your phone in hand and value efficiency, then maybe having an app on your device will be the better choice.

6. Collaboration Software

One struggle during the pandemic (and even before it) is communication. Not being able to physically meet with classmates and teachers makes this problem even more difficult.

This is where the importance of collaboration software comes in. Accomplishing group works and keeping track of progress is now possible with such online tools in place.

For instance, Google Docs allows you to collaborate with other people on a single document in real-time. Through it, you will be able to provide suggestions and comments to help improve the group output.

These also allow you to efficiently communicate and work. To aid in this process, video conferencing software is also available.

7. Graphic Design Platforms

Presentations do not end in the traditional classroom. Creating PowerPoint, infographics, and posters are common tasks in the online classroom world. Having free and aesthetic templates to fill in and edit will significantly make this task easier. Several online platforms offer these features for free. One popular choice is Canva.

Platforms like Canva provide you with an array of templates and pre-made designs that will fit your needs and personal style. The best part is that many of these platforms are easy to learn and use. Some even allow you to collaborate with others.

Indeed, classes in the new normal may be difficult, but it is not impossible. With just the right set of tools, you will have the ability to not survive, but thrive!

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Josie Patra
Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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