Technology has changed and, in most cases, advanced so many aspects of our lives. Now it’s easier to keep in touch with family and friends. It’s easier to shop for Christmas presents. It’s easier to book hotels in towns you’ve never before visited.
Technology is also beginning to transform the educational landscape, from how teachers share lessons with students to how students learn. In the last couple of years, technology has also been changing the way students study, taking conventional but clunky ways of accessing information and adding speed and convenience. There are even more support tools now so you don’t have to sit through the painful ritual of having your parents explain a problem to you.
Here are some of the key ways in which technology is changing how we study:
- You can take better, cleaner notes.
Gone are the days of hand cramps, when you’re desperately trying to keep up with your professor and just can’t. Now you can take notes on your phone or laptop, meaning you can actually read them, access them, share them and save them. You can also search keywords, organize your notes by headings and categories and color code your notes without too much extra work (i.e. completely rewriting them).
- You can share, delegate and get feedback without ever talking to anyone.
If you are working with a group, it’s much easier to organize your work. Products like Wunderlist help you schedule and delegate tasks with your classmates. Tools like Google Docs allow you to share and edit documents seamlessly. This also makes it easier to share drafts of an essay or similar documents with a parent, tutor or friend, and collect their feedback in one place.
- You can access your documents from anywhere.
If you’re traveling, or even just switching computers, now you don’t have to worry about walking around with your USB. Services like Dropbox help make sure that your files are accessible and new versions replace older versions when you save so you don’t have to worry about finding the most up-to-date file.
- You can keep track of your schedule and assignments without ever writing anything down.
A lot of schools now offer students a web portal so they can keep track of their course work, from assignments and due dates to the distribution of study guides and worksheets to planning ahead for test and quizzes. Students and parents can also keep track of grades for various assignments and exams this way.
- You don’t need to be in-person to get a fully interactive learning experience.
There are tons of programs available that help to simulate an in-person learning environment and allow you to get questions answered at the push of a button. Our tutoring app Pundits allows for fully interactive educational support from your cell phone and offers a video of the experience that you can review over and over. Tutorials archived on services like Youtube can show you how to do anything step-by-step as if someone was actually standing next to you and demonstrating (e.g. changing the oil in a car). You can even learn new languages on your own as programs like Duolingo will go over pronunciation with you!