Dual Monitor Setup for Teachers – Pros and Cons

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 02/20/23 •  Teaching Tools

Do you have a dual monitor setup for your home office as a teacher? If not, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to increase productivity. A dual monitor setup allows you to have two screens open at the same time, which can be extremely helpful when working on projects, presentations and even grading homework in an online fashion.

Best of all, monitors are quite cheap and easy to setup with a laptop, making it the perfect addition to either your home office or your desk in the teachers office. It’s even more beneficial too if a large portion of your work is online teaching as well as it makes for a more clean, effective visual workspace.

What to look for in a secondary monitor

There are quite few basic, obvious things to know when buying an addition monitor:

Size and resolution

The size of the monitor and its resolution affect how much can be seen on the screen as well as how sharp images and text appear. A larger screen size and higher resolution are beneficial for multitasking, productivity and organizing multiple on-screen documents and web browsers.

Panel material

The type of panel used in a monitor affects color accuracy, contrast, and viewing angles. The three most common types of panels are IPS (In-Plane Switching), TN (Twisted Nematic), and VA (Vertical Alignment).

IPS is the best overall as they have a nice balance of colors though blacks do tend to be washed out. IPS panels are also the most expensive. VA panels have the best color accuracy but are a poor choice for anything with a high frame rate like video games and TN panels have the best refresh rate but the worst colors.

Refresh rate

Refresh rate is a measure of how often the screen updates its image per second. Higher refresh rates can make fast-paced games and videos appear smoother and more responsive. Not that important if all you’re doing is school work.

Connections

To ensure your monitor is compatible with multiple devices, search for one that can be connected via HDMI, DisplayPort or USB ports. That way you’re guaranteed to have a multi-functional and versatile display.

Cost

Monitors vary in price range, so it is essential to find one that fits your needs while being within your means. You can spend a lot or a little. Let’s get into our top three choices.

Recommended monitors for teachers

Alright, so with that out of the way here are out top choice for a dual monitor setup with your laptop and perhaps one of the options below:

Sceptre – The best budget monitor

20 inch screen

This model is cheap, big and comes with a color color profile. The colors are good but not great. It does come with built in speakers too if that’s important to you and of course has all the standard connections you need to attach your laptop to it.

The viewing angles are fair enough too, but after using this monitor we would say this is the primary con of this monitor as you’ll have it slanted and pointed away from you on your desk most likely. However, for the price point, this option can’t be beat.

InnoView Monitor – Best portable monitor

15.8 inch screen

Yep, a portable monitor with it’s own sleek carrying case. It has a 15.8 inch advanced IPS screen with 1920*1080 resolution, so you can enjoy excellent quality images in full HD and at 178° viewing angle. Plus the HDR rendering technology ensures that pictures are always outstanding with vibrant colors, strong contrasts and maximum detail for a truly awesome experience each time you open your device (laptop or phone).

If you need something to take with you from the office to home, this is our top choice. The only thing we were not crazy about with the InnoView was stand. It uses it’s case as the stand, sort of like an iPad or any other modern tablet.

Sansui Monitor – Best dual monitor setup

If you’re not looking for something portable and you’re willing to spend a little bit more that you’ll love the Sansui monitor because it has all the benefits of the Sceptre model, just with better colors, a larger screen and better viewing angles.

Obviously, this is not particularly portable and the power button is on the back of the device which is a bit annoying. Otherwise, this is a solid, reliable monitor that is perfect for the working professional.

How to setup a secondary monitor

It’s quite simple, all you have to do is connect your second monitor to an electrical source and your computer (laptop most likely) using the display port.

Then, in your display settings, select “Extend these displays” from the multiple displays window. Lastly, simply decide on which display will be primary and arrange them in whatever order works best for you.

Does a dual monitor setup help with school work?

Yes it does, there are quite a few specific benefits for teachers who decide to try out a dual monitor setup:

Better productivity (the whole point of doing this)

By utilizing two monitors, you are able to open multiple windows and applications simultaneously. This is an effective way of getting more done in a shorter amount of time. For instance, you can have your research material on one screen while writing the assignment on another.

More easy to organize your work

With leveraging two monitors, you can organize your work to help you stay focused and efficient. Use one monitor for research or notes while the other showcases whatever task is at hand; this way, there’s less temptation of straying away from what needs to be done. With a better organized workspace, distractions are reduced so that more progress can be made on each assignment.

Multi-task if required

A dual monitor setup, you can significantly boost your multitasking capabilities. For instance, if you open your email on one display and work on an assignment on the other simultaneously, then staying organized with both tasks is much more achievable. Using this method of multi-monitoring will ensure that neither task slips through the cracks.

Presentations made easy

Presentation Preparation is much easier as a teacher can have their presentation software open on one and all pertinent notes or research material displayed on the other. This makes preparing an engaging and informative presentation substantially easier to deliver.

Grading and record keeping

Teachers can make the grading process more efficient and organized. For instance, one monitor could feature the rubric while the other displays students’ work; this allows for detailed evaluations and feedback to be quickly provided. Additionally, records regarding student progress can also be tracked with ease using two monitors instead of just one.

Lesson planning

When it comes to lesson planning, teachers can reap immense benefits by utilizing two monitors. With one monitor displaying the actual lesson plan and the other for finding research materials such as videos or interactive games, educators are able to craft lessons that satisfy a wide range of learning styles, captivating students in an all encompassing way.

Online teaching

Utilizing a two-screen setup for video conferencing enhances the remote teaching experience, making it more enjoyable and engaging. On one monitor, teachers can have their video call software open while displaying interactive activities or presentations on the other monitor.

Any cons to having a dual setup?

There are few drawbacks that come to mind after having used a dual setup as an online teacher with VIPKID. First is the expense. External monitors are not particularly expensive but their is a cost involved.

Having a second monitor also takes up space on your desk as well and some may not like how cluttered it can feel. There’s also the issue of personal preference, maybe you’ll try out a dual setup and discover it’s not really for you.

Last are any technical issue that can arise with display drivers not working and you not being able to get a dual setup working to your liking. A minor annoyance, but we know not everyone is tech savvy.

Dual monitor setup for teachers conclusion

So that’s it for this quick guide on setting up two monitors for teachers. It’s a great way to be more efficient with your school work and it makes teaching online a lot more easy. Setting up a secondary monitor is also very simply and not technical so consider trying it out with one of our top external monitors.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.

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