Technology is all around us, #theresnodoubtaboutit. These days, social media and smart phones (or tablets computers) are a normal part of our day-to-day lives. Despite many using this technology to share funny videos, photos and status updates; used in the right way, technology can be beneficial to uni students in their studies.
I count myself lucky to be able to study in a time where laptop computers and mobile devices make it possible to study on-the-go, no matter where I go. USQ make all study materials accessible online, which allows students the flexibility to view course content, listen to recorded lectures and take notes without the need to carry a pen and paper.
Just like in minority report where Tom Cruise switches between the images on the large computer interface with the slide of a hand, on my iPad I am able to easily switch through my apps. Since buying my iPad mid last year, it has become an essential part of the things I bring to uni for study. Since I’m in avid apple user (owning two iPods, an iPhone and an iPad), I’ll share with you some of the fantastic apps I use to help organise myself and assist with study; some of these apps include:
- Calendar – this app comes built-in with current iPhones and iPads and is a good replacement for a diary/weekly planner. Using calendar, I am able to organise my study time around my lectures, work and social outings. As I use both my iPhone and iPad to organise my calendar, Apple’s iCloud syncs any updates made on one device and shows changes on the other – no matter which one I’m using, it’ll be exactly the same!
- Reminders – similar to the calendar app, reminders serves as a ‘to-do list’ which can synchronize between devices. Alarms and the level of importance can be set for each item listed – handy for prioritising study and assessments.
- iBooks – free for download on the Appstore, iBooks allows PDF files to be opened and read like an ebook. Through iBooks, I am able to store electronic copies of course materials (saved as PDF) and work through modules on-the-go on the iPad.
- Pages – Paralleling the windows program Microsoft Word, this app allows documents to be created and edited with a wide range of format, font and layout options. This app has helped me greatly for taking lecture notes and when editing assignments away from computer access.
- Dropbox (and Evernote) – Dropbox allows internet storage of files which are accessible across devices (iPhone, iPad and computers). This app has been a life-saver where I’ve forgotten to bring a USB stick and have no place to save journal articles or assignment research; once saved to Dropbox all my academic journal articles were accessible from my home computer and iPad.
Additionally, social media can provide motivation to study (as pictured above). Facebook can be used for study through forming ‘groups’ with people you study with – allowing you to share ideas, talk about course content and post up study notes for the group to share. On the other hand, too much social media can become a distraction from study so remember to limit time on social media and use it as a reward for your hard work.
Overall, the use of technology and study go hand-in-hand; however, discipline is required to make sure you don’t get distracted – no matter how tempting it might be to beat a high score in Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds!
Do you use any apps that have helped you with study or work? Comment and share your app-tastic stories