Using Technology to get the Most out of Your College Education

By on June 3, 2014

Technology is being used more and more everyday. Students are placing more value on the way that technology allows them to achieve their academic goals. A 2013 ECAR study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology revealed that over 89 percent of students own a laptop. Between the 2012 study and the 2013 study ownership of smart phones jumped 14% from 60% all the way up to 74% currently. These students are finding ways to empower themselves, and to take charge of their academic success. 76% of students said that the use of technology has helped them to achieve their academic outcomes.

Mobile devices, and especially smart phones are becoming far more popular for students, with ownership increasing significantly. Students have said that they are primarily using their smart phones to look up information, to photograph information, to access digital resources, record instructors, and to participate in activities.

As you prepare for your next semester you may want to spend a bit of time researching how you might be able to put technology to work for you. Below is a list to get you started on making sure that you are using the technology that is available to you in the best way possible.

Making Technology Work for Modern College Students

Calendar

An essential part of the day-to-day life in school is keeping an up to date calendar for deadlines and exams, as well as personal appointments with professors, advisors, or for personal matters. These days there are online platforms and mobile apps available, as well as other free services that will allow you to automatically sync your calendar between multiple devices allowing for ease of access to information.

Many calendars can even sync with social media calendars to remind you of upcoming events that you have RSVP’d for, or even to remind you of a friend’s birthday. Time management is key to surviving college, so be sure you are making best use of these methods for organizing your time.

Library Resources

Almost all colleges will provide remote access to many journals and research material online through the library website, or other college websites. These resources can be accessed from any tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Many colleges also make it possible to see what things are currently available in the library, or allow you to request materials from another library online.

Social Media

A great way to stay up to date on happenings, connect with other students, and even seek out help, social media can be a great resource for helping increase your success in school. Some departments in a college will have a social media group that you can connect with in order to keep up to date on what is happening within that department, as well as to attempt to find other students to study with, or even buy or sell used textbooks to save you money on materials.

Email

Schools issue an email address to each student when they register. This email address is what professors use in order to update students on upcoming deadlines, changes to class schedules or material. Checking a school email can take extra time that you don’t have. In many cases you can forward your school email account to a personal email account, and route it so that when you reply to emails they show your school email address in the from field.

E-Books

The convenience of having study materials with you wherever you go without having to deal with the extra weight and space needed in your bag. 74% of students say they use an e-book in at least one class that they are taking. E-Books can be accessed through mobile devices, tablets, and laptops. Over half the students in the study said that they wish their professors would offer the use of more e-books in class.

Class scheduling

Many colleges have minimized the amount of time that a student spends with their academic advisor, allowing the student to take care of most of their own class scheduling each semester. These scheduling websites have become far more mobile friendly as many students race to register for the classes they want as soon as registration opens. Make sure that you spend some time becoming familiar with the system long before registration opens so that you can be as efficient as possible when scheduling your classes for the following semester.

Apps

There is an app for that! It goes without saying that the number of apps available on the market is continually rising. Most likely there is a mobile app available to you that can help you make your time more efficient. Apps that students might find helpful in reducing the stress of a full-time workload range from budgeting apps to help with financial budgeting, study aids to help learn and reinforce new material, to programs that remind you to call home to family. The apps available will range in price from free to well over $100. Some apps can be used as a study aid, or can even be used to complete assignments.

Mint

If you’re not great at money management or sticking to a budget, life can be tough. The Mint app and online site helps you create and stick to a personalized budget. It can connect directly to your bank account so your budget takes into account every dollar you have available. And be sure to use the Cash vs. Credit feature if you are using a credit card for the first time; the tool will show you how long it will take to pay off a purchase considering your current income.

PayPal Mobile

Does your friend owe you $20 but never seems to have cash on hand? If any two people have a PayPal account, they can send money to each other using this app. You can also use it to pay online for shopping, books, concert tickets, restaurants, bars, etc.

Mobile Banking

Often the best way to keep track of your budget is directly with your bank. Most big banks and credit unions offer mobile apps for checking the balances of your accounts and transfer money between accounts (thanks mom and dad).

Academic Success with Tech Support

More students are relying upon technology to help them achieve academic and career oriented goals. The amount of information technology available through a college or university continues to grow in order to help more students achieve their goals. Many have recognized that they still need guidance on how to better use technology in the classroom. Consider taking a class on using technology to make research a snap and take better class notes. Many professors are also encouraging students to empower themselves and ask for help in utilizing all available resources during their academic career.

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About Arthur Conway

FSN finance and investment journalist - Arthur understands the confusion and difficulty individuals encounter budgeting and saving for everyday expenses, college and wealth building investment. Professionals are there to help, but first, Arthur wants to put the reins to your financial future back in your hands with just a little bit of knowledge and clear advice. Connect with Arthur at !

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