Say farewell to pens and paper, markers, ring binders, notepads and paper clips – today’s students are increasingly turning to technology when it comes to getting stuff done both in and out of the classroom. Today, it’s difficult to get through a degree program at any level without utilizing at least one or two pieces of technology, from your trusty laptop to study apps on your smartphone or tablet that you may wonder how you ever studied without. With the rapid rise of online degree programs, technology has become even more important for students looking to get a degree for the first time or returning to school in order to further their careers. Here are some of the top gadgets that every modern online student needs.
1. A Trusty Laptop:
One of the beauties of studying online is that you’re not tied down to studying in one specific place. And, for many online students, this flexibility is one of the main reasons they chose to ditch the traditional classroom-based options. You can study at your favorite coffee shop, take your work with you whilst traveling the world, or simply sit at home in your living room to get things done. So, don’t tie yourself down with a bulky desktop PC. Whilst they can be a great choice if you plan to do the majority of your studying in your home office, a good laptop will offer you more freedom and allow you to take your studies with you wherever you need. With many options available at either end of the budget, just ensure your laptop has the specifications that fit the type of program you are studying for and is light enough to carry around with you.
2. Kindle or E-Reader:
Anyone who’s studied for a degree before will know that there’s nothing quite as back-busting as the book buying trip in your first week, where you’ve somehow got to make it home weighed down under several large textbooks that you might only need to read parts of once or twice throughout your degree. The good news is that when you study online, not only is most of the material you’ll need to read freely available on your program’s resources page, but there are also plenty of easier options to consider when it comes to getting all the textbooks that you need. An Amazon Kindle or similar e-reading device can be very handy; you can download all your textbooks onto it, saving space and being kinder to the environment in the meantime. And, with e-books often coming in cheaper, it’s a great way to save money too. If you have a compatible tablet or smartphone, you could even simply download the Kindle app instead.
3. Portable Charger:
While studying online gives you that extra freedom to take your work anywhere you like, the last thing that you want is to find yourself out of power. So, in order to ensure that you can keep going wherever you are, one of the best things that you can invest in is a portable charger. Most portable chargers or power banks are compatible with devices such as tablets and smartphones, although you can find some that are designed for using with a laptop if needed. And, they are a relatively inexpensive and cost-effective device to buy when you think about all the use that you’ll be getting out of them whilst studying.
4. Wi-Fi Printer:
Whilst the good news is that online degree programs tend to be fairly eco-friendly as most work is done online, there will be times when you’ll have to print something off, whether you’re required to send your final thesis by post or if you just want to print out your notes so that you have something to circle and highlight as you’re revising. Everybody has different learning styles, so you might find that printing off flashcards, for example, is a more effective method of retaining information for you compared to reading off a computer screen. For this purpose, you can’t go wrong with a good Wi-Fi printer. Simply connect the printer to the Wi-Fi network in your home for easy wireless printing from your laptop, smartphone, or other connected device. For even more features, get a three-in-one printer that allows you to scan and photocopy important documents, too.
5. Good Headphones or Speakers:
If you find that listening to music helps you focus as you study, then you’re not alone. Millions of students around the world always feel better getting down to revising or writing that big assignment when they’ve got some motivating tunes playing that they can rock along to in the meantime. So, before you start your online MBA healthcare management degree, for example, it’s worth investing in a good pair of headphones or speakers – whichever you prefer to use. Headphones might be the better option if you expect to be taking your studies outside with you often, or if you like to study late at night and don’t want to disturb your neighbors. Apple Airpods are a great investment to make; they’re small and portable and don’t require any wires so they won’t get in your way whilst studying.
6. Games Console or Streaming Stick:
With all that studying and all those gadgets to help you do it well, if you have a little money left over to spend, then it’s worth investing it into something that will help you make the most of your down time. As an online student, taking a break is often just as important as working hard, and taking some time for yourself to do something that you enjoy every once in a while will help you return feeling refreshed and ready to go. If you’re into gaming, consider an Xbox One X or the new Nintendo Switch, whilst if binging TV shows is more your think, a Roku stick will ensure you have all your favorites together in one place.
Do you have any tech recommendations for students that you’d like to add?