Technology has not only improved learning environments from grade school to higher education in classrooms, but is also becoming a high-quality virtual educational environment in its own right. Because of this technological evolution, students from a variety of different educational backgrounds and schedules can now work toward a technology degree at an online institution. And even though online education is convenient and technologically progressive, integrating additional technological gadgets can take your education to the next level.
Let’s take a look at the top five must-have gadgets for improving performance and convenience for students at online institutions:
1. Digital Calendars
In a traditional classroom, your instructors will likely remind you of assignment due dates and exam dates in every single class. In an online class, you’ll need to be more proactive in keeping track of due dates and ensuring that assignments are turned in by these deadlines. Because of this, students in online schools need to sharpen good planning and time management skills. A digital calendar is a crucial aid for helping you keep track of these dates and stay on track in each of your classes. Although a standard wall calendar might be helpful, digital calendars offer unlimited access, and provide more helpful features, such as alarms, color coding and organizational tools.
2. Wireless Internet Card
Unlimited Internet access is crucial for students at an online college, but a busy schedule and an on-the-go lifestyle don’t always make this essential item very easy. Instead of wasting time looking for the closest cafe or library with Wi-Fi accessibility, always have a wireless Internet card on hand to have full access to the World Wide Web everywhere you go. You don’t even have to limit yourself to the typical study-friendly atmosphere. In fact, you can even use your wireless Internet card to study in the park on a warm spring day for an extra refreshing learning experience.
3. Video Chat Programs
Students in online schools don’t have to rely on e-mail alone to communicate with professors and peers. Many online colleges offer video chat programs for students to communicate with classmates and instructors outside of e-mail. However, for schools that don’t offer this feature, Skype offers a free and fully functional alternative. Through these programs, you can receive clearer answers and collaborate more effectively on homework assignments and projects within the course.
4. Soundproof Headphones
Online classes require the full attention of students in order to ensure an effective learning session. Unfortunately, not all available environments foster learning, which is why soundproof headphones are a must-have for students who are used to studying in noisy coffee shops and hectic households. These headphones allow you to block out all outside noises, so you can truly focus on your coursework.
5. Voice-Recording Software
If you’re the kind of person who’s always scribbling down notes while on the go, investing in voice-recording software is an excellent way to stay organized and ensure that nothing is forgotten. For example, say you’re driving to work and just thought of a great opening sentence for your English term paper due on Monday. With voice-recording software, you can make a quick audible note of your idea right away without having to fumble with your notepad at a red light.
Taking full advantage of the high-tech resources at your disposal can help you become a better student—and also help prepare you for the professional world as well. Technology is evolving faster than ever and integrating it into your student life in a meaningful way will help you transition into a tech-savvy professional environment later.