Heading back to class can induce excitement, apprehension, fear, and uncertainty all at once. While it is natural to feel nervous about a new term at university or new grade in school, apprehension is often lessened by sincere preparation. Once you have completed your summer assignments, it’s time to prepare for the new academic year in a new way – a tech way. Various forms of technology are used as learning tools and supplements in classrooms and lecture halls. Whether they’re going to school, university, or any other institute of further education or higher education, students of all ages should consider supplementing their textbooks and course packs with a little technological aid. This article will discuss the most useful gadgets and devices for those heading back to school and university.
Tech: the Hardware
Many students now have a smartphone, which has many practical uses. With ‘Documents to Go’, the BlackBerry 10 OS offers students the ability to check and edit Microsoft Office documents with ease, wherever they are – perfect for busy students! Smartphones make it easy for students to stay in touch with their friends and family, wherever they are, cheaply and easily – whether by using Skype or Viber or a device-specific app like BlackBerry Messenger or iMessage.
While having a laptop in university is now commonplace, more people are supplementing their tech caches with a multi-purpose tablet for an even more mobile, lightweight and powerful device. There are many tablets out there and it’s important to choose one that is versatile, fast, safe and reliable. Be sure to consider the operating system and its capabilities. Which works best for you: Android, IOS, BlackBerry, or Windows 8
- Other gadgets you may consider are new all in one printers, or perhaps an ultrabook or new desktop PC.
Apps: the Software
Learning doesn’t stop at the end of the lecture, and your studies shouldn’t either. Take a look at these useful apps to keep at the top of the class.
- Blackboard Mobile Learn
This app provides students with the latest assignments from their courses, if their school or university supports Blackboard mobile. This is a great way to keep aware of your assignments on the go!
- e-Mobile Planner
Keep track of all of your assignments, social events, and coffee dates with this app. Easily make checklists with this goal-oriented app.
- gFlashPro Flashcards
This app is great for exam prep as you can create your own set of digital flashcards, then test yourself. You can share these flashcards with your classmates for a group study session.
Accessories: the Daily Wear
When deciding which backpack, rucksack, or messenger bag to complement your new gear, there are a few things to consider.
While you don’t want to lug around your whole apartment when you go to and from class, it is important to have a bag that is sufficiently large to hold several books, snacks, and your laptop or tablet at the very least.
Be sure that the material is durable and that the shoulder straps are well made, perhaps with a small cushion so it doesn’t dig into your shoulder. Be sure to check the points where bags are most liable to break first – zippers, snaps, where the arm band attaches to the bag.
If these are all in fine working order, then it’s time to look toward style. Do you prefer leather? If so, a dark or light finish? Or perhaps you would prefer eco-friendly canvas. Do you like the look of a vertical or horizontal bag? Remember that your bag is not just practical; it is also a statement piece. Consider it a piece of jewelry or item of clothing that you happen to be wearing every day—so it’s important that you like it!
This article should get you started on finding the right gear for a successful new year of learning. Remember that these products are just tools, and while they shouldn’t be the focus of your time in school or university, they can help you plan, progress, and enjoy.