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||Meet Chloe, one of our summer 2017 ICI Interns: I’m Chloe Alexander, a recent graduate of an ICI member campus, where I studied Communications and History. You’ll find me in a library, coffee shop, or thrift store. I speak primarily in English, but also in Spanish with a terrible accent, FRIENDS quotes, and Disney song lyrics. I strive to make my mark on the world by writing, traveling, reading, engaging in critical thinking, and enjoying the arts. Ask me about my adorable dog and I will talk to you for a minimum of an hour.
Making Technology Work For You
September 19, 2017
Check out some of the ways that technology can make life easier!
Most students in college today have grown up with technology, but don’t trick yourself into thinking that you know it all. There are tons of apps and programs that will help get you through college (and probably work for high school, too!). Some of these apps are fun, some are practical, some will help you out in class, but all of them are helpful for students. I encourage you to try them out!
- Google and its many features
Google Calendar is amazing for keeping track of your schedule. You can add repeating activities that you’ll have every week such as class, work or extracurriculars. Can’t remember where you’re supposed to be? Download the app, turn the notifications on, and your phone will tell you what’s coming up next for your day or week. Google docs is also extremely valuable for college life. You can take notes in class, share files with classmates or professors, and add images and drawings to your notes. The best part is that everything automatically saves as you type, so no worrying about whether you backed up all your documents. Plus, it’s accessible from all of your devices. Finally, you’ll want to use Google drive. Drive will hold all of your files, which is especially useful for group projects. You can share folders and documents in Drive for each person’s section of a project, and everyone will have access to it. You could be working together without having to physically meet.
This is a note-taking app used by a lot of college students. You can take handwritten notes, PDFs, mark up pages, add audio recordings, and search all your files easily. Plus, students can get up to 50% off their Premium plan.
Quizlet is a cool study app that helps you review and get ready for quizzes and exams. One of my favorite things about this app is the flashcards. You can create different sets of cards for different subjects and share them. This is an amazing way to review with a study group for an upcoming exam. The app lets you answer questions, flip through flashcards, answer true/false questions, write out short answers, and go through multiple choice quizzes.
This app is for those who want to keep their fitness goals. There are hundreds of workout videos to choose from that will guide you through different exercise routines. You can also set up a plan that is specific to the goals you want to accomplish. You can select the amount of days a week you want to exercise, the equipment available to you, and what you are looking to improve. Overall this app has a lot of flexibility, and Nike is a name that you can trust.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep track of your finances in college. This app makes it easy. You can link your bank account to Mint and see your current balance. When you set a monthly budget, you can add specific amounts that you want to spend on categories like rent, groceries, gas and entertainment. It will even let you know when you’re over budget or have money left over at the end of the month. Since your card is connected, the app will also track your spending habits. Seeing exactly how much a month I was spending on coffee really helped me pay better attention to how I spent my hard-earned money.
TED Talks have become more and more popular among college students, and you’ll even see professors use them in class occasionally. The app has different categories of videos that you can pick from and will tell you which talks people have been enjoying lately. Most TED Talks are fairly short, so you could watch them walking across campus or in a break between classes.
Spotify is a go-to for finding new music and creating awesome playlists. And I probably don’t even have to tell you that students pay half price for Spotify Premium.
Venmo is a really practical app that comes in handy during school. You can link your bank account and your debit card to your Venmo account and make payments online. You also can transfer money to others with an account, so remembering to pay back your roommate for that one time you didn’t have cash has never been easier.
College students watch a lot of TV. With friends, during study breaks, binging a favorite show, or catching up on a new one. This app keeps track of everything you're watching. You can add almost any show to your list, and check seasons off as you finish them. For current shows, it will also let you know when the next episode is on. It can suggest shows for you to try based on what you’ve watched as well, which is a good way to find something new to start.
I definitely recommend that you download an e-reading app of some kind. Google Play Books, ibooks, Nook or Amazon Kindle are all excellent ones. Not only will you be able to read comfortably anywhere, but all of these platforms support textbooks as well, which means that you don’t have to break your back lugging all your heavy books to class. A lot of times e-books are cheaper than paper copies, too, so you can find that latest popular book everyone is reading for fairly cheap.
Technology can also help keep you safe on campus. Most schools have a system that will send campus updates or safety alerts to your phone. These can really help you be more aware when you’re out and about, so make sure you sign up at the beginning of the year.
Finally, while technology can be really useful, it can also quickly become a distraction. If social media and Netflix and the latest online shopping deal are always stealing your homework time, consider downloading an extension like Self-Control or StayFocused that will block you from certain sites. You can add specific sites to be blocked or set a timer that will block everything on a list you create. Doing this can really help you become more productive and use your time wisely!
We live in a technological age, and things are constantly changing and evolving. Being able to harness all of the technology available to us and let it help our education is an awesome opportunity that we should be taking advantage of.
Read another blog here!
September 7, 2017
The library is such an amazing resource while you’re in college. Make sure you are using it to its full extent!
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