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Student Strategies for Online Learning

Many providers are doing what they can to help students make the shift online by providing free high-speed access. The Federal Communications Commission Agreement states providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots for increased accessibility to the internet. Please visit the following websites for the latest details on how to sign-up and leverage these services. The North Carolina Department of Information Technology is providing a comprehensive list of internet and mobile services providers that offer free or low-cost Internet service at this time.  You should contact the companies, or look at their COVID-19 response information. Many are offering expanded benefits like free data or international calls.

You can also use the tips below to use your mobile phone as a hotspot to provide access to your laptop. There are also tips to maximize your bandwidth.

  • Turn your cell phone into a hotspot to provide access to your computer if you don’t have High-Speed Internet (see resources above)
  • If you do not have a great signal and video/access is breaking up, disconnect or turn off other devices using the internet such as TV’s and Smart Home devices streaming content, disconnect your phone from WiFi if you are using your computer for access. Also, take turns using the internet with others in your household.
  • If you have older wireless technology, you may have better speeds using a cable to connect to your cable router instead of using Wi-Fi in your residence.
  • To make sure neighbors are not streaming from your service, change your password on your router.

As we move towards an online environment, please consider how you are using your computer.  A laptop was never intended to be a “full” time computer. If you have a docking station or desktop computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse available that will reduce stress on your body as you spend more time on the computer, please review these ergonomic setups and try to make your environment as ergo-friendly as possible.

Students may have lost access to resources available on campus as a result of COVID19 such as books on reserve in the Library.  You may be able to find free access to digital versions of your textbooks using the links and instructions below.

As we move into online learning, please let the DRO or your instructor know if you need assistance turning on captions for video content.

Note: Automatic transcription does not replace the need to have multimedia captioned for those with hearing loss 

  • Live transcription can benefit students who may learn better by having visual focus when listening for periods, such as listening to a podcast.
  • Live transcription can benefit those students who find it difficult to type or write for long periods of time, such as students with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Repetitive Stress Injuries, or Autism. 
  • Live transcription can support ESL learners as they see and hear the processed language.
  • Tools
    • Webcaptioner is a browser-based tool that presents the captioning of auditory content in a separate window.  You can export the transcript as a document. (Free)
    • Otter is a cloud-based tool that works on a mobile device or browser. It is an audio recording tool that has automatic transcription, also, it has a highlighting feature so you can highlight important statements. You can embed pictures in the transcription, edit the transcript as well as share and export the transcript. The free version allows 600 minutes of recording, there is an educational discount of 50% off the normal pricing or about $4.50 per month.
  • Strict Workflow is a Chrome add-on that will help you stay more productive at work by temporarily blocking social and other time-wasting websites. It blocks the sites for 25 minutes allowing you to work distraction-free and then will remove the block for five minutes. You can repeat until all your work is done.
  • Stay Focused is a Chrome add-on, StayFocused increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites.

Although we are encouraged to physically stay safe from one another to contain virus infections, we can still connect using technology for studying and socializing. Use the following tools to connect with other classmates, friends, family through apps like Skype, Facetime, Google Meet, Zoom.