A Tale of Two Monitors
Would you like to make writing and responding in discussion boards easier for your online class? Having an extra monitor for your computer can be a great tool to easier interactions on the web. Most modern computers will allow you to have multiple monitors or if you are a laptop user, to add an extra monitor. In addition to having a bigger screen for laptop users there is an even greater advantage. In most cases you can desktop users can spread expand their desktop over two monitors and laptop users can extend their laptop screen onto the extra monitor, giving you one big workspace spread over two screens. Hereâ€™s what my set up looks like.
My laptop hosts the main screen where I have a web browser window open. Iâ€™ve set up my desktop to extend to the other monitor, so I have all of that extra screen space as open working space.
Why is this useful? When working with discussion forums for a course, I can have my weekly assignments page open in a browser window on one monitor and have the discussion forum open in another so I can read and write at the same time without having to flip back and forth between browser tabs or browser windows. Hereâ€™s what this looks like.
If youâ€™re the type of person who writes out your responses in Word before posting do the discussion forum, this method can also work for you. Open up the weekly assignments in a browser window on one screen and open your Word document to write on the other screen. Again you can read and write at the same time.
Since computer monitors are fairly inexpensive these days you can get a great productivity improvement for around $100. To set it up, purchase a monitor that is compatible with your computer system and attach the monitor. If the desktop doesnâ€™t extend automatically, you can find the controls on Macs under the System Preferences in Displays or if you use Windows the controls are under the Control Panel in Display. There will be some differences between operating systems versions, so your system may be a bit different. Try it out and enjoy the expanded screen and usability.