Photo by NazarethCollege on Flickr
Digital tools & apps to make learning & college life a bit easier
Target audience: Students, educators, nonprofits, social change organizations, writers, researchers, journalists.
Guest post by Emily Sawtell
Senior Director of Student Innovations, McGraw-Hill
Anumber of tried-and-true and fairly new digital tools are making it easier to for students to get off to the right start this fall semester. At McGraw-Hill’s digital innovations lab, and in partnership with GradeGuru, we’ve been researching some of the top tools for back to school now that the new school year is creeping up on us.
Here’s what we’ve found to be trending this autumn: our Top Ten Fall 2010 Student Tools List.
Skype: Video chat in the classroom
1Traditionally a software app that allows users to make free voice calls to one another, Skype has introduced a group video chat service that’s being used by professors and students to engage in classroom discussions and host virtual office hours.
Google Docs: A complete collaboration solution
2Google applications such as Google Documents, Calendar and GMail have become a standard suite of tools for college students to collaborate – it really hits the spot for group work. Other apps in the suite include Google Talk for chat, SMS for mobile, Blogger to set up a blog, Desktop to index your computer, Scholar to find scholarly works and Picasa to edit and manage photos.
Citation Manager: Making assignments easier
3GradeGuru Citation Manager is a bookmarklet & FireFox add-on that helps students collect and manage citations for papers, essays and assignments. Just highlight the info you want in any online source and Citation Manager will automatically capture the associated citation data from your browser. (Authors and journalists, take note!) It’s a real time saver for course work.
Twitter: New levels of engagement
4Twitter is longer just a social network. Students and academics alike are starting to leverage this network to crowd-source questions, gather research and increase classroom engagement levels.
Studyrails: Focus, focus, focus
5Studyrails is an online study tool that helps with time management by allowing students to schedule their study time and block out access to sites that might distract them.
Chegg: Rent your college textbooks
6The idea behind Chegg is pretty straightforward: Rent textbooks, return them for no additional cost via UPS, and the company plants a tree every time yoiu rent. They offer a 30-day return guarantee.
Study Tracker: Chart your performance
7Study Tracker, the iPad app by GradeGuru, helps students track their class performance. Students can record their study times and grades per class to monitor their effort and outcomes — and adjust accordingly.
Quizlet: Memory enhancement
9With Quizlet, students can browse and use millions of flashcards created by other students and teachers, or create their own. Because you need every edge when taking your GREs or that Advanced Mandarin test.
DYD: Map out your living space
10DYD (Design Your Dorm) is a web-based 3-D dorm room design tool that allows college students to customize their dorm room interiors and purchase their favorite room furnishings online.
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