Feature – School is in full swing again and if you
haven’t done so already, it is about time to review your tech tools.
We’ve dug a bit deeper, skipped those laptops, common Google tools such
as Google Scholar/Books and USB sticks to find what we believe are 10
essential on- and offline tools for today’s tech savvy student: As you
are heading back for class, check our list of applications to say
organized and productive.
1. Purchase Microsoft Office for $60 (a 91% discount)
Yes, we are starting with a boring one and could have mentioned free
GoogleDocs or Open Office here as well. But let’s get real: Microsoft
2. Get Your Cliffs Notes Online
Litsum.com offers students an array of both literature summaries and study guides. Included in their offerings are full chapter summaries, analysis, topics for discussions, style, quotes, character analysis, and themes. All of these items are offered entirely for free. The website offers both the classics and modern literature, so more than likely you will be able to find exactly which book you are seeking.
3. OpenDisc Free Open Source Programs
OpenDisc offers students a variety of open source software (OSS) for the Microsoft Windows operating system. The project aims to provide free alternatives to expensive software that has either equal or better quality equivalents to its paid- versions available on Windows. Among them are programs used for graphic design, gaming, internet navigation, email clients, multimedia software, productivity, and utility. You can download all or parts of the software programs offered. Best of all, it’s free.
4. Share your Notes with Peers
free service that allows college students taking the same classes to
share their notes with other classmates. Notemesh works by creating a
wiki for each individual class that can be edited by different users.
Users can then post their own lecture notes, or simply contribute to,
notes that are currently posted.
University Notes offers a similar service that allows students to communicate, share information with one another, and keep in touch. Students can rate their teachers, and keep their academic life completely organized using this great web based application.
5. Save Money on Text Books
University is already expensive as it is. Heading to your campus bookstore with your book list can put an even larger dent in your wallet. That is why it is necessary to know where to locate the best discounts. The best idea is to use a comparison search to find your book for cheap. Bigwords.com offers students the ability to save almost 35% on their textbooks.
Another option for cheap textbooks is textbook rental. Chegg.com offers students the ability to rent their textbooks for a semester, thus saving them 50% off the total cost, and the ability to return them, and not clutter your bookshelves with something you’ll never pick up again.
Read on the next page: Bibliographies, taking notes and staying organized
6. Take your Desktop with you Anywhere
Everyone doesn’t own a laptop, some people don’t feel like lugging theirs all over campus. Instead, you might choose to set up a “desktop on a stick” using a USB drive or even your iPod. Installing either MojoPac (portable windows) or DSL (Damn Small Linux) on a flash drive, you can then set up your favorite software, and even save your most important documents. Then you can take it with you the computer lab or library, plug it in, and you’re set. Your very own desktop is right there, ready for you to use.
7. Bibliographies the Easy Way
EasyBib is a great resource for compiling the much dreaded and hated bibliography. All you are required to do is feed the program sources, and it will format them into your APA, or MLA formatted bibliography. This will aid individuals in many of their classes. Using EasyBib will cost you $8 for an entire year, but will certainly take time out of pulling together those bibliographies last minute.
OttoBib is both a free and simple way to aid you in creating your bibliography. The process is quite easy. You enter the ISBN of the book you’re citing, and then select which citation style you are in need of. Once your request has been submitted you’ll instantly have a properly formatted bibliography.
8. Generate Notes Utilizing the Cornell Method
First, you can skill yourself on how to create perfect notes, for
great retention and recollection later using the Cornell
Method. Once you understand the concept and how the method
works, you can customize your own notepaper using the Cornell Notetaking Method
Custom PDF Generator.
9. Stay Organized
If you own a Mac OS X system, you can utilize the Schoolhouse 2 homework manager. The program allows you to organize your classes, assignments, quizzes, and group projects in a manner similar to how iTunes organizes your music.
All you have to do is simply enter in your assignments and their due dates into Schoolhouse and then organize them into notebooks and criteria to be used for searching using “Smart Notebooks”. You can add your lecture notes directly to the program. Schoolhouse 2 lets users track course grades, and stay organized.
If you don’t have a Mac, use multiple computers, or prefer web based applications, then utilizing Notely might be more appropriate for you. Notely allows students to keep track of their classes, lecture notes, to-do lists, bookmarks, and even their calendar in one aesthetically pleasing interface. You can associate specific notes (including complicated mathematical formulas), and tasks with certain classes, you can even upload any documents or related files. Your data isn’t locked, you can access your calendar using iCal and you can export all of your notes and any lists into either a PDF, text, CSV, Word, or Excel file at any point in time, as well as receive your information via RSS feed. Notely offers students a mobile version that allows for easy access on the go, and additionally a Facebook application that lets you keep up with your info from your Facebook interface. Notely is a great source of organizational tools for any student.
If you already have a calendar system and simply want to add to it a way to organize your study time, StudyRails offers a great service. With classes back in full swing, StudyRails will help you efficiently keep up with your time, notifying you of upcoming course assignments or events via e-mail or text message. When your teachers assign something you can enter them into your StudyRails and set aside blocks of time for completing the assignment or studying. The webapplication will then notify you before the assignment by email or an SMS text message.
10. Note taking Made Simple
Utilizing Qipit, students can use their digital camera to take notes easy and quickly. By taking a cameraphone or digital camera snapshot of your whiteboard lecture notes, you can simply upload the images to Qipit, and then store up to 100 documents for free. The application turns your photos into documents for easy printing, meaning that as the professor is lecturing you can listen, absorb, and learn material, simply taking a photo of the notes for later.
All of these are amazing tools for students to use for organization, and studying purposes. There are many more out there and available, these are the only ones I personally have experience with. If you know of any other great services, web applications, or programs, write it in the comment section below.