Many courses are increasingly moving to an online format at all levels of education. A study conducted by Learning House, Inc. reported 85% of students who had previously enrolled in both face-to-face and online courses felt their online experience was either the same or better than the classroom course. More than one-third of these students (37%) felt their online experience was superior to classroom courses.
Distance learning presents benefits and challenges
Distance learning provides many benefits for both student and teachers — most notably, flexibility of location. Because remote instruction means that the instructor can teach from any location, students now have access to professors and experts beyond locally available teachers, which enables the ability to provide more specialized instruction and diverse perspectives. Additionally, the flexibility for time and location more easily accommodates adult learners, who often juggle school with full-time jobs and family responsibilities.
However, remote instruction also presents some unique challenges. Because it’s more challenging to engage students online than it is to do so in person, professors must adapt the course material specifically for the online platform. Engaging students in online lessons can be challenging because the students’ experience is typically limited to a small laptop or tablet screen.
During in-person courses, professors have more opportunity to address individual learning needs and questions. Remote instructors should proactively address different learning styles in their teaching sessions, which requires extra preparation and expertise. Additionally, teachers must ensure that they present a professional image — a challenge for some when working from home.
3 technologies to use for a superior learning experience
By using the following three technologies, instructors can overcome the challenges and provide a stellar education experience from afar:
Create an engaing experience with a home entertainment projector
Teachers can use a home entertainment projector to create a more expansive experience that helps students understand and retain the information that’s presented. The projector lets you bring color and a more immersive experience, such as with videos and interactive content, to your classes. After serving up lessons for kids during the day, a projector is a great way to keep the family entertained with at-home movie nights, gaming, and more.
When selecting a projector, look for the following features:
- Bright and colorful images that are visible even when lights are on
- Displays 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame without “rainbowing” and “color brightness” issues
- A high-quality speaker with Bluetooth wireless speaker support
- An option to view your favorite streaming channels, like Netflix®, YouTube™, Hulu, and more
Bring a new perspective with a document camera
Streaming a visual aspect of a lesson can be especially challenging when it’s part of an online lesson. Many instructors struggle with showing important materials such as maps, artifacts, and visual demonstrations through online learning platforms. Science courses requiring demonstrations and experiments are especially challenging to move online.
Many professors are turning to document cameras to add supplemental learning materials and perform experiments in their virtual classrooms. With a document camera, you can also capture books, objects, and even content from your tablet. When you use this equipment, students have a more engaging experience and can interact with your lessons on a much deeper level than if you try to use a webcam or phone recording.
When selecting a document camera, look for the following features:
- Camera head features a rotation of +/- 90 degrees so you can capture any object
- Zoom capabilities to replicate passing around microscope slides or detailed photographs
- Ability to record lessons to play later
- HDMI®, VGA, and USB connections to integrate with other teaching tools
Add a high-capacity multi-function printer for new at-home demands
Instructors and students (or parents of students) repeatedly turn to their printer throughout the distance learning process. While many parts of the process can be completed digitally, there are times when there is no substitute for a printed document. When ramping up all your printing needs — work, school, crafting, and more — both instructors and parents should consider how their printer will be used across all the new printing projects.
Parents need to be able to print out worksheets and projects, while educators need to be able to print off lesson plans and notes. Physical copies allow children to have their own versions to work from, rather than competing for laptop or tablet time with siblings or parents who are also trying to complete their own work. Additionally, professors often use printed version of lectures notes while teaching to allow them to make quick notes and additions based on real-time questions from students.
When selecting a high capacity printer, look for the following features:
- Consider a cartridge-free printer, such as Epson EcoTank printers. You can save up to 90% on ink costs with low-cost ink bottles vs. ink cartridges. 
- Find one that allows you to print or scan anytime from your mobile devices.
- Lastly, a printer that is voice activated will allow you to print daily essentials, specialty paper, photos, and more — all hands-free. 
Many online instructors lose out on learning opportunities with their students by simply teaching their courses using a web camera. By taking advantage of the many technologies that are now available, instructors can provide students with an even more engaging experience than what’s possible in a classroom.
 Actual savings and costs vary considerably based on print tasks, print volumes and usage conditions. Savings and cost per ISO page are based on the cost of replacement ink bottles and the cost of enough standard cartridges to achieve the total page yields of the bottles using the MSRP (USD) and yields for Epson standard-capacity ink cartridges for similarly featured Epson consumer inkjet printers as of February 2019.
 Voice-activated printing is not available with Epson ET2500 and ET2550 EcoTank printers and Epson printers that are 5 or more years old. Epson Connect and Amazon Alexa account registration required.