Is your voice hurting after talking online, but not when talking on the phone or face to face? Are the reading materials on your screen too small, even when you don’t need glasses? Are you having problems with screen sharing in class, because your teacher turns into a tiny digital human being? Do you only have one screen at home and you are finding it difficult navigating between windows on your computer while learning?
Learning and teaching online are different from working online, here are some solutions to the above problems:
Why am I getting headaches? Why does my voice hurt?
There are two main reasons for this. 1. You have not adjusted your sound correctly/you are using bad headphones or 2. You are not adjusting the screen brightness correctly for the situation. Again, it's not just general work on your computer, it's a video conference.
Don't have the sound too loud with no headphones, make sure you invest in some comfortable headphones if you are using them and adjust the brightness!
You may be saying you don't have the money, but think about it. The more uncomfortable you are, the less you are able to engage in what you are being taught. The less you are able to engage in being taught, the more lessons you will need. This costs you money. Stop your lessons for one week or two, use the money for better headphones, adjust the audio and so it’s not too loud (which makes you talk louder in the class and why your voice is hurting after.
Most computers have an automatic brightness function. Use it! If it does not work properly, learn how to do this manually through this extremely useful discussion:
Why is my back hurting when I am on a video conference?
When you are working on your computer, you have had plenty of resources to help you understand how to position your body to avoid back problems. This is not the same for when you are on a video call on a laptop, because your body reacts in a different way when you are working on your laptop to when you are on a video call.
The solution is to put the computer at eye level AND buy a second keyboard or write by hand.
As you normally do if you are not using a laptop, but harder when using laptops. Make notes on a piece of paper, instead of using your laptop keyboard, or if you have an extra keyboard to connect to your laptop, do it, so your body can be more relaxed to move, as you would when you converse with someone face to face.
Are the texts on your screen too small even when you don’t need glasses?
There are two button commands on Macs and PCs to zoom in on web pages quickly with ease. This will normally be a ‘hotkey’ (button command) for the browser. You can google how to do this by asking google a simple question: How do I zoom in on a webpage? Do it and give your eyes a longer lifeline.
Are you having problems with screen sharing in class, because your teacher or student turns into a tiny digital human being? Do you only have one screen at home and you are finding it difficult navigating between windows on your computer while learning?
For this, the options are either buy a second screen (which can cost €100 for a good one) or use the ‘hotkey’ to move between screens consistently. This may not be perfect, however when learning online it’s hard to engage as much when you have another body in the room next to you. Remember what we were saying above about not having the money? You will end up saving money in the long term by making this investment.
The human part of the lesson is hard to maintain when teaching or learning online. Search google the same way as the previous step, asking a question to find out how to switch quickly between applications and avoid too much screen sharing! It slows down the connection and makes the classes less fluid. You need to see the student or teacher well when learning things like pronunciation.
I hope this article helps you learn better when taking classes and helps reduce the headaches! I am available for any questions about your online learning experience here, even if you are not a student :)