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?
In the middle of last month, the world once again witnessed a tech revolution – the release of yet another wildly anticipated iPhone. The 5S was said to offer countless improvements over its predecessors and enticed those who were waiting all year long to use that convenient phone upgrade to get their hands on the new toy everyone just couldn’t stop talking about. Given the considerable hype surrounding each of Apple’s recent iPhone launches, one is always left to wonder whether the changes being made are really that crucial to the device’s improved functionality.
For instance, the 5S boasts improved camera quality (a feature that didn’t seem to be problematic on previous models) and a stronger physical core, presumably to prevent the ease of inflicting damage. The claim from the American software giant – year in, year out – is that “this is an entirely new phone.” In all likelihood, this is last year’s phone with added shine, a slightly better camera, and, in truth, a suspect battery. It is fully unnecessary to even delve into the cost of a reliable insurance plan such as “Apple Care” or the definite impossibility of fixing seemingly minor damage to the screen without replacing the entire device. Oh, and don’t get me started on the iPhone 5c.
I never truly bought into the iPhone hype for a variety of reasons. Besides the shocking cost (usually $600 up front in addition to a $50 per month contract), the devices never really captured my attention with any alternative capabilities. There is no special appeal to an Apple product besides its aluminum casing and mirror-like display. For these “novel” elements, you shell out thousands of dollars on repairs even for minuscule exterior damage.
Instead, for mobile phone purposes, I’ve opted to side with Apple’s competitor – Microsoft. Windows Phones have recently gained popularity thanks to Nokia’s “Lumia” model that boasts having “the best mobile phone camera.” Being an owner of exactly this device, I cannot disagree. Having been surrounded by iPhone users for years, I can confidently say that the Lumia does everything and more than what any Apple device slyly advertises. Seamless connectivity, a slick Windows 8 interface, and a variety of social media channels make the Lumia a joy to use. Most importantly, it opens the eyes of those blinded by Apple’s shiny, fragile displays and silences the chatter surrounding the “Genius Bar” – all for good reason.
This is my personal opinion, as a non-iPhone user. I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the subject!
After doing a little digging, we have found that there are some really awesome gadgets out there that college students would absolutely love to get their hands on! These gadgets are definitely something you want to add to your holiday wish list!
USB LED Beverage Cooler – $19.99
This little gadget is a must have for college students living in small spaces. Not enough room to fit a mini fridge in your dorm room? No problem! This tiny cooler is powered through your USB drive and cools one can at a time. This gadget is also super portable meaning that you can make sure your can of energy drink is always cold when studying at the library!
Tulip Desk Lamp – $59.99
This little desk lamp is a great addition to any room! It is compact enough to fit on a desk or nightstand, but it can direct your light source where you need it. The flexible bending head on this lamp allows you to point your lamp at the desk, the ceiling, or anywhere you want!
Compact Photo Cube Printer – $149.00
Ever snap a photo with your cell phone and wish you could print it out on the spot? Well you can! This printer prints 4×6 images without a computer. Just place your Andriod or Apple device into the dock on top of this printer and you are ready to print! This compact printer only measures 7″ wide and easily fits on your desk. It also includes a carrying case so you can print on-the-go!
Pocket Projector for iPhone 4 Devices – $229.99
This is one super, super good gadget. Perfect for students that love movies and photos, this pocket projector is great for on-the-go travel entertainment. All you do is dock your iPhone 4 into the device and it will project your screen onto any surface. This means that you can share the movie you are watching on your phone with your friends by projecting an image up to 50″! As a plus, this projector can also serve as a back-up battery for your phone.
Apple TV – $99.00
This little gadget is awesome! This small box that can fit into the palm of your hand hooks to your TV via an HDMI cable and then uses your wireless internet to stream directly to your TV. Using AirPlay on your Apple device, you can wireless stream music, movies, and photos to your television. This little box also accesses Netflix, YouTube, the entire iTunes Store, and much more from your TV.
lucy Nightlight Jacket – $99.99
This gadget is a must for people who like the run in the evenings! This running jacket with quick-drying technology is piped with LED lights making it reflective on all sides. Not only that, but it is convertible with zip-off sleeves making it versatile year-round.
We love this! Turn your iPod Nano into a watch! This silicone watch band securely holds your iPod Nano in place! Now you can watch movies and listen to music with only your watch!
HeatShift Laptop Cooler 15″ Pad – $29.99
The perfect gadget for people who enjoy working on their laptops in bed! This cooling pad uses cooling crystals to absorb the heat coming from your laptop, lowering the temperature of your computer by up to 10 degrees. Because it uses crystals rather than a fan, this cooling pad is silent and won’t bother others who may be around while you are working.
Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels – $39.95
Do you tend to oversleep for class? If you answered yes then this gadget is for you! When this alarm clock goes off you have one chance to hit snooze before it rolls off of your nightstand and all around your floor. You have to find and catch the alarm clock in order to silence it, ensuring that you are up and out of bed when you need to be.
ZOMM Wireless Leash – $89.99
There are a ton of features packed into this little gadget. This “wireless leash” help you to remember your cell phone, talk handsfree, and can even assist you in an emergency. The ZOMM Wireless Leash alerts a user when they become separated from their phone, ensuring that you never accidentally leave your phone at home again. It also has a fully-functional speakerphone allowing you to talk handsfree via Bluetooth. In the case of an emergency, the ZOMM is equipped with a panic button that will sound an alarm and if held down long enough will dial 911 for you.
Boogie Board Rip LCD Writing Tablet – $129.99
This LCD writing tablet is a must for college students! Write your class notes on this tablet press the save button, and you instantly have a digital copy of all of your notes! This also is a great way to turn those interesting doodles you draw in class into digital art!
mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 4&4S – $79.95
This super sleek iPhone case doubles as an extra battery! Giving your phone almost double the battery life, the mophie Juice Pack ensures that your iPhone will not run out of battery power anytime soon. The super-slim rechargeable battery sits perfectly in this case without adding extra bulk to your iPhone.
Powerbag Deluxe Backpack – $169.99
Running all over campus with no time to charge your smartphone, tablet, or laptop? Now it is easy with this awesome backpack! With a built-in battery system powerful enough to charge a smartphone 4 times, you are are able to charge all of your electronics on the go!
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Let’s face the facts, our generation demands instant access to information. Incoming freshman have been raised on high speed internet and cable t.v. (they didn’t even have to deal with AOL dial up connections and rotating hour glasses!). Cheap mobile devices have completely changed the game. Now I can look up name of Ben Stiller’s character in Anchorman, manage my fantasy football team, and upload pirated concert footage onto my Facebook profile; all from a device that fits in my back pocket. That’s pretty sweet. If an armed mugger tried to steal my iPhone while I was playing Angry Birds, I’d whip out my trusty sling shot and go for the high score!
According to a study conducted by technology pioneer Cisco, “33% of respondents under 30 said that the internet is of equal importance to their daily life as air, water, food, and shelter. 55% of college students polled believe their life’s daily sustenance is in jeopardy if they are denied access to the internet, while 64% of students would select an internet connection instead of a car.” Sounds about right lol.
Consider me part of the 64%. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m on my smart phone 24/7. I have all my favorite websites bookmarked, my Facebook & Twitter feeds on constant monitor, and a crap ton of apps that essentially run my life. If you have the same symptoms, you may have heard of a few of the apps below. If you don’t have this sickness, I’m very proud of ya! But here are some awesome iOS and Android apps if you’d like to indulge and join your brethren. At the very least, they might help you out this semester.
iStudiez Pro – $2.99
This is more of an interactive calendar that has built-in reminders and daily lists you can schedule in to keep organized. Also stay ahead of those long-term projects by building in reminders along the way.
EverNote – Free
Let this software be a hub for all the notes you will ever take about anything. Organize your notes from school, to personal to-do lists, to baking recipes, etc (Also available for Android).
Wikipanion – Free
Imagine all the great information Wikipedia has to offer in an app. Research information on just about anything you can imagine.
DropBox – Free
Drop a file or folder from your computer, and access it from your smartphone. Helps for any student looking to work on school away from their laptop (Also available on Android).
PageOnce or BudgetBuster – Free
Pay your bills and organize your finances seamlessly on this app. You can even sync with your online banking (PageOnce also available on Android).
Wunderlist – Free
One of the most popular “Get Things Done” app. This will get your lazy schedule into an efficient, organized, kick-your-calendar-into-shape schedule for those who are trying to keep their A-game during the semester.
Logical Dimension – $0.99
If you’re new to campus and have a hard time figuring out where to go, this is the app for you. Find your way through campus, and be able to get home without losing your cool.
Cram – $3.99
Study with flashcards and have multiple-choice questions to quiz yourself on the material. It will even track your progress to see how ready you are for your exam.
MyGPACalculator – Free
Figure out your semester, cumulative, or letter grade GPA. Customize it to the way your university ranks their grades.
Convert – $2.99
Find out any type of conversion for your needs. Ease up on that brain work and let this app do some math conversions for you.
ShareYourBoard – Free
Take pictures of the whiteboard you’ve been aimlessly staring at and get extracted text to study from.
Taskos – Free
Sync this app with your Google calendar for a more interactive to-do list for scheduling your busy semesters.
Mint – Free
The same concept as PageOnce, this app utilizes your finances and keeps you on track by computing your budget.
Android Agenda Widget – Free
This app tracks your daily activity quickly and efficiently. It is very customizable and uses a visually appealing scroll feature that is user-friendly.
Class Buddy Pro – $2.49
Keep track of individual homework assignments, quizzes, and test grades to see where you stand in that particular class. This app also lets you calculate your semester and overall GPA.
DroidScan – $6.99
Take pictures of documents and save them as high-resolution PDF’s to scan, print, or share. This is extremely helpful especially for students who have teachers that don’t email or post slides online.
GoogleDocs – Free
Seamlessly post, edit, download, and share documents through the ‘online cloud’ that other users can do the same with. Don’t forget that this can save a lot of time when working on group projects with classmates you’ve never met before.
Recordoid – Free
Record lectures, notes, and more to help remember what your professor emphasized in class. This is useful when going back over your notes and trying to conceptualize material covered in class.
Check ‘em out and comment on your favorites!
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