Advice Tech

College Technology Tips

Written by Frank Kremer

With the use of technology and computers becoming the norm, you are wondering if it is acceptable to bring your computer to class with you. It is now encouraged. Most college students have a laptop, and most admit it is super easy to become distracted by social media and games, but there are tools to help you stay focused and boost your productivity.

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Having success in high school by teaching yourself to focus and stay on schedule will help when you transition to college. This discipline will enable you to study easier as subjects become more difficult. A good way to do this is to use free software available. These are the top tech tips for college students. They should help you focus, be on time, and complete your assignments with a little less stress and frustration.

  • One such tool for focus is StayFocused or SelfControl. This is a great college app in that it completely disables the websites you want to avoid while studying. When the professor says, “Write me an essay”, and you only have the time limited in class to complete the assignment, this app will enable you to focus on that writing assignment rather than catching up on emails.
  • ColdTurkey, AntiSocial and Freedom are other apps available for focus. So, if you find yourself drifting away and not doing what you are supposed to do, download these great college apps and be a success.
  • Many or most colleges now use software to connect you to your classroom and university. BlackBoard and Google Drive are software types that allow students to retrieve assignments, get lecture notes, watch videos related to the subject, see their grades, and collaborate with fellow classmates online. These tools are excellent for professors because they can prepare their students for class with pre-lecture notes and that students can prepare for class ready with notes and questions in hand.
  • As a student, you will need to complete assignments by a certain deadline. Sometimes with multiple projects ongoing, keeping track of this can be a challenge. This is where an electronic calendar comes in handy. A regular paper calendar can get lost or damaged, and since you will be working on your laptop anyway you might as well have something right there to help you keep track. With a Gmail account, the calendar is part of the package and is easy to program and use. If you do not have Gmail, there are free apps like Fantastical2 or Sunrise Calendar that can be downloaded.
  • Ok so now you are not distracted, and you have your deadlines all set up, let us get down to studying. It can be painful to go back multiple times to various tabs just to find a page of information you are looking for. There is quite a variety of tools to allow you to keep notes right on your word document. One cool tool is having the ability to have two screens visible on your laptop at one time. To do this with Windows you just press the Windows key and the left/right arrow. With Mac, you just hold down the green expand key at the upper left corner then drag the app to either the left or the right side of the screen and let it go. You now have the ability to use both sides of the screen simultaneously. Smart lookup on the word program also allows you to look things up, and view them on the same screen as your document. This is especially handy when needing a dictionary or a quick explanation of some idea you have.
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  • Another great tool to have is the virtual file folder. College students often do work on their cellphone or IPad while they are out somewhere doing something else. Having all your assignments on a virtual storage clouds and being able to access them whenever you need them is simply awesome. Dropbox, Google drive and Windows OneDrive are probably on your computer now. Having the ability to access your files anywhere is a must for any college student.
  • Another cool gadget that a student needs to have is LastPass. How many times do we have to enter passwords for this and that, then we need to change them? How can we ever remember all those passwords? That is where Last Pass comes in. This free download you can add to your computer and cellphone. It allows you to enter your passwords for all the sites you need to access, and remembers the passwords for you.

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Frank Kremer

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