study tools

Trading Traditional for a Tablet

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With the popularity of all-in-one electronics on the rise, college students all over the country have been taking advantage of new computers for their school work. One observation I’ve made while in college is that a lot of students use tablets for their classes rather than laptops. As a man without a tablet, this is very surprising. I always thought of tablets as just tiny, slow computers, or big smart phones, but I’ve actually seen some really creative and useful ways that my classmates are using them this past year. Here’s just a small list of some of the things I’ve seen done.

Note taking: While many students prefer to write down their notes, using a tablet to take notes in class IS a handy way to save paper, and keep your notes looking clean and understandable.

Easy Organization: Many tablets come with, or can download, many organizational apps. These range anywhere from calendars, to help coordinate college students’ very hectic lifestyles, to just keeping track of all your notes and files. Tablets can act as a great way to organize all your notes and class work. Just remember to have backup memory!

Reading: This isn’t necessarily college-related, but tablets are a very quickly growing way to allow anyone to read an entire library worth of books without taking up all the space!

Online textbooks: Many schools and companies are now making their textbooks available for purchase in digital copies. I personally prefer renting a hard copy textbook, but if you don’t want to deal with damage, or if it’d just be easier to have all your information on your tablet, the digital copy seems like it’d be a major convenience.

Whatever you can think of! I had a class this semester where a student used his tablet during a presentation. He had specific sentences recorded on it, and when he’d reach certain points in the presentation, the tablet would interject with arguments that he would quickly dismiss. A tablet IS a type of computer, so if you’re able to find an app for it, or if you have the imagination for it, there are almost limitless capabilities for how to use it!

I’m not saying that you absolutely NEED a tablet in college, after all, I’ve been doing just fine without one! However, there are times that I wish I had one because it’d make my life a whole lot easier. Having to carry around a million textbooks, and not fully knowing the bus schedule because I don’t have a bus app can be quite a pain, so you be the judge as to whether you’d want one or not! What kind of tablets are you all using for your classes?

Take Notes on Taking Notes

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Photo Credit: www.tutoringvermont.org

 

We’ve all heard Dorothy’s famous quote from The Wizard of Oz “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” used in various contexts. Well, Dorothy, unfortunately, you’re not in high school anymore. That means no more notes being passed out in thick packets or being neatly organized to deal with certain topics on certain days. College takes taking notes to a whole new level, and a difficult one at that. Therefore, here is a list of useful tips for the next time you are getting flustered with note-taking:

 

1.) Don’t try and write down every word your professor says! Focus on key points of information. It will save you time when studying and will save your hand from cramping.

2.) Avoid copying PowerPoint/Prezi slides word for word. Figure out the main point and write that, and only that. And if you are not sure what Prezi is, you need to find out!

3.) Use the marginal method. You know that space at the end of college-ruled notebook paper where it has a faint line? Fold that into your page. Now, only take notes in the non-folded section. Any of your questions, potential test questions or special highlighted notes you take away from the lecture should go in the folded tab, keeping your notes clean and organized.

4.) If a word or phrase is repeated, write it down! There is a reason your professor is repeating it, trust me. It will most likely show up on your test later or help you understand test materials.

5.) Ask if you’re allowed to use your laptop to take notes. People tend to type faster than they can write things down. Just make sure you turn off the Internet to avoid being tempted by social media. Unless of course you’re using one of our recommended apps to stay organized!

These tips are sure-fire ways to taking great notes in college. Got any others? Tell them to us in the comments section below!

All GOOGLEy-eyed

Being a college student makes paying for lots of different services difficult, if not impossible. This is where Google comes into play. Google offers many free resources that you can use to be more efficient in your school work and in your life in general. Some of their services can also be used just for fun, like google trends. Check this out with your buddies, it shows you a graph displaying the amount of searches for a certain topic over a specified period of time. Go ahead, try Ham Vs. Turkey, Biggie Vs. Pac, place some bets, make it interesting. Check out these awesome Google services that you can use for free.

1(800)-GOOG-411. Who still pays up to 75 cents by calling an operator to find an address or phone number? Not me! Try Goog411 – it’s a voice automated free information service, and when you pick the business you want to connect to just say “text message” or “map it” and Google will automatically send a text message with more details or a map directly to your phone.

Google Books – This a great resource for doing papers and research. This Google service allows you to search for the full text of tons of books for information or just for reading.

Google Docs – This service from Google allows you to upload documents onto the Google interface and share them with your colleagues and classmates. This service makes group projects a breeze even if your group can’t all meet somewhere at the same time.

Google Scholar – This service allows you to search published papers, opinions and journals. A great resource for term papers. Just make sure to annotate it right.

Google has tons of other services such as “Sketch-up” – a free 3d modeling program, Calendar, Dictionary, News, Instant Messaging, Translate, and various applications for mobile phones. Get some Google in your life.

If you need help using Google Services, check out this book. Google Search and Tools in a Snap

 

SeanJohn

I am reading Social Psychology