The last several years have brought an amazing amount of technological advances that were unheard of just a decade ago. Ten years ago phones weren’t smart, laptops were heavy, and E-readers didn’t exist. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the top 10 tech gadgets to help students in class is how recently they’ve been developed. The technology available to students is advancing rapidly and constantly changing, allowing more connectivity and wider access.
Top 10 Tech Gadgets to Help Students in Class
Laptop ComputerThe accessibility a laptop provides a student is essential in today’s culture of portability and instant access. Research, assignments, and exams aren’t limited to a certain time of day anymore. Instead you may choose to log-in to a course’s online portal at the library or submit a research paper from a coffee house. Having a laptop gives you the freedom to work on your own schedule.
SmartphoneSure, a smartphone is great for updating your Facebook status or posting pictures with Instagram but it has educational benefits as well. It may not be realistic to always have your laptop with you but a smartphone gives you anytime access. You can check email from a professor, Google a concept you’re unfamiliar with, or quickly scan a website for research developments.
E-readerAlthough E-readers are still primarily used for pleasure reading they are now being utilized in college courses as well. Publishers are converting many of their textbooks and resource materials to this digital format. This conversion reduces the cost of textbooks for students and eliminates carrying heavy books.
TabletThe tablet market has successfully merged the benefits of the laptop and the smartphone to benefit students. It gives you full desktop viewing while maintaining mobile connectivity in a sleek profile. Many tablets also boast E-reader apps that you can use to digitally read textbooks and classroom resources.
iPodAlthough there are many different portable media players on the market an iPod is the only model that offers iTunesU. Professors and publishers can post podcasts, notes, lectures, resource materials, and additional readings to iTunesU. This is another opportunity to merging your gadgets as well. An iPhone or iPad will give you access to iTunesU as well, eliminating the need for an iPod.
Wireless SuiteYour laptop will certainly allow you to take your research and class work with you wherever you go. However, once you’re home you’ll want to quickly connect and have the capability to work wirelessly. Make sure your home is equipped with a wireless router and printer. Secure your wireless suite from other users by password protecting the network connection.
SmartpenA state of the art smartpen records both handwritten and audio notes and can link them together for future use. The built in microphone and speaker record and playback your notes or a classroom lecture. The newest versions also allow you to connect the pen to its own app and share the content via social networking sites.
SmartwatchA highly advanced smartwatch takes connectivity to a whole new level! These watches provide you with the ability to listen to voicemail and know when you’ve received a new email. Most models have Bluetooth wireless to connect you to your phone and email, an ambient light sensor, and a long range rechargeable battery.
Academic ApplicationsYes, applications (apps) aren’t technically a gadget but there’s an app available for nearly academic need. You can manage your daily schedule, create to-do lists, organize notes and outlines, find flash cards to help with studying, and much more. Many of these apps are compatible for smartphone and tablet use and the schedules or data can be shared with other app users.
Online File StorageAnother non-gadget necessity is online file storage. These sites, such as Dropbox and JustCloud, provide you the ability to save and access files from anywhere with an Internet connection. You can also share files with other users, enhancing collaboration and project based learning. Most online file storage sites have a basic membership that you can use free of charge and offer a paid upgrade with additional storage.
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