Future students considering an online master’s degree are likely already in touch with the digital age. For those of you who aren’t, there are a few tricks of the trade. Learning smart is all about using the right resources. To work fast and efficiently, it’s important to have your thinking machine (re: computer, tablet, or smartphone) queued up with and bookmarked on any one of these seven digital tools for students.
1. A Portable Device
Before you can get started with any of the tools below, consider a portable device. An online degree offers the flexibility to learn anywhere – why not take advantage of it? These days, you can learn on anything from a laptop to a tablet. When selecting a device for your education, consider the following:
- Can it run all the programs you need, such as word processing or design software? Check with your school to ensure your device supports their virtual classroom platform.
- Will it be fast enough to complete your work in a timely fashion? (Think back to the programs you will use).
- Will you be comfortable using the device for extended periods of time? I.e., is the screen large enough; is typing easy?
2. Kindle Textbook Rental
The Kindle Textbook Rental service is an affordable way to get the materials you need for your online course. Renting textbooks saves the average student up to 80 percent. The service doesn’t require an additional device, either. Access the texts on almost any device, including a tablet, PC, or Mac computer.
The service also offers unlimited rental extensions, so there’s no limit to how much you can learn. When you’re done, there’s no need to worry about selling back bulky textbooks since the digital copy will simply disappear from your Amazon library.
Forget flash drives. DropBox is an easy way to upload and access files on-the-go. DropBox is a great way to not only access files from other devices (for printing and collaborating), but it’s also a way to ensure your important assignments are safe if your computer crashes.
4. Google Docs
Google Docs is a cost friendly solution to costly productivity programs. Use Google Docs to create documents, spreadsheets, and even presentations. It’s a service that’s made for the online student since the files are sharable. You can also allow comments and track changes.
Keeping track of all your digital work is an assignment all its own. myHomework, an app available for most smartphones, tablets, and the web, allows you to organize all your coursework, digitally. Add entries for homework, tests, projects, and even lessons. myHomework will remind you when it’s all due.
After the painstaking hours spent putting together a research paper, there’s still more work to be done. Enter: the dreaded bibliography, that final page of your otherwise thoughtful essay that’s ruled by ever-changing formatting guidelines.
Let EasyBib do the work for you – for free. The easy-to-use website allows students to enter their reference information, and EasyBib will deliver it back perfectly formatted in the style of your choice (MLA, APA, or Chicago).
Want to study paperless? Quizlet, a free learning tool, offers the ability to create digital flash cards. Choose from over 20 million pre-made sets, or create your own based on upcoming test materials. This web-based tool is accessible from almost any device.