Top 5 Tech Tips Every Student Needs Right Now
by Max Basaraba
Students never have enough time or money. As a college student, there is always a lot to juggle, so you need every advantage that you can gain from apps and the devices you use.
Fortunately, students today have grown up immersed in technology from a young age. Apps and digital tools are as familiar as calling on a landline to older generations. Once you become a freshman, there are a much wider range of apps and tools that are going to become essential as workloads become more challenging to juggle alongside other commitments, such as work, a more active social life and extra-curricular and extra-credit activities.
For busy students, here are some tried-and-tested tech tips that will keep you sane.
Top 5 tech tips for students:
Tip #1: Take Notes
Note taking apps are your best friends at university!
Keeping everything in one place, whether that means different folders and files for different courses or subjects, or essays and assignments; it always helps to have a clear logical structure for how notes are kept and recorded. Pick a recording format that works for you, such as audio recordings during lectures or even video recording, if your college and individual tutors allow that.
Then when doing research, make sure to keep all of the links with the relevant lecture and other notes. Even use note-taking apps to take pictures of quotes from books and other print materials.
There are some fantastic note taking apps around. From one of the most popular - Evernote - to Keep (which is completely free), to Bear, OneNote, Google Keep, and dozens of others. Some are free. Others are free with premium features. Once you've found the right one for you, keep using it to stay organized and on top of everything.
Tip #2: Use the Cloud
It goes without saying, but keeping organized means ensuring everything you've got on one device is equally accessible on others. So if you use a Mac and at the same time have an iPhone or iPad, make sure iCloud is enabled on every device so that notes, essays and projects are synced across every device so you are never without what you might need.
Other invaluable cloud-services you might need include Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. For those with - or who set up Gmail accounts - access to the full range of Google services, including Docs and Spreadsheets are invaluable when doing any collaborative work.
Students are even using Google Docs to update lecture notes so that everyone has access to the same information, which is really useful if someone can’t make a certain lecture. No one misses out.
Tip #3: Submit final drafts as PDFs
When submitting an essay or longer assignment, many students are inclined to save them as a Word document, or Pages (if you have a Mac or iPad and are using iWorks). Essays are usually submitted electronically, either through a learning management system (LMS) or emailed directly to a tutor.
However, if a document is saved in Word or Pages, there might be formatting errors or even problems downloading it at the other end. If a tutor or professor can’t download and mark an essay in time it could cause further problems with GPAs and adhering to course requirements. To avoid any of these potential problems, always save an essay as a PDF when submitting a final version. If a tutor wants a Word version, you've got that too, but final submissions are always easier to handle when they're in a PDF format.
Tip #4: Set up messaging apps/text on your laptop
Phones full of apps, full of messages, full of the chance to interact, to connect, to like and share are wonderful.
It’s almost difficult to imagine life when phones were only for calling, texting and taking pretty rubbish pictures. Now they're a way of life, a way of living that makes us more connected than ever.
But they're also a distraction. As a student, the last thing you need is to be picking up your phone every five minutes to respond to messages and texts, only to realize you've spent another 20 minutes on Instagram and Twitter. Instead, make sure to have desktop versions of your most frequently used messaging apps (either through a browser or download) and text messages, any sync your devices, so that you can keep in contact without getting distracted.
Tip #5: Navigate a clear route to graduation
Prepler is one such tool that provides students with a clear route from starting college to graduating. One of the many challenges that students face is that there are a diverse number of ways to achieve the grades and points you need to graduate. Unless you know people who've been there and done that, the hidden curriculum can be confusing and difficult to navigate.
Without this, it can take longer to graduate and cost more than expected - causing students to get in even more debt, and in 4 out of 10 cases, fail to graduate at all.
Prepler solves those problems with a personalized real-time study plan. This way, you will know every step you should take in advance - before registration, or even before applying to college, to ensure you don't waste time and accumulating more student debt than you want. Prepler does all of the planning for you, providing the most suitable options and tailoring the schedule for your needs.