(Image Source: http://www.thunkmedia.com/backtoschooltech/)
Back to school, back to school. The sweet but short summer months couldn’t last forever. To make this year count, here’s a roundup of back-to-school must-have tech gadgets and software that will ensure a productive year of learning.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with Surface Pen
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet is THE notebook for the 2015-2016 school year. This 12-inch digital notepad has a 2160×1440 resolution display which gives it a natural size that lets owners flip through online textbooks and PDF files with ease, much like the same feel the old-school paper kind provides. Additionally, it comes with a convenient Surface Pen for taking notes or drawing graphs, or if you prefer to have a pad to type on, the snap-on keyboard option provides the best of both worlds – the lightness of a tablet, but the physical functionality of a laptop. And what’s more back-to-school trendy than going green and digital when it comes to notebooks?
If you do decide to make the Surface Pro your own, it is accompanied with a perfect partner, the OneNote software. The program transcribes handwriting to typed text, which makes the learning process a lot more efficient, especially when it’s time to cram for the exam and refer to diligently taken notes.
Galaxy S6 Edge
Every student needs a phone/tablet to give them an edge. Look no further than the new phablet on the block – the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. It provides the multi-functionality of the latest technological innovation in smartphones and furthermore, it’s very student friendly. Two major selling points that appeal to a student’s budget is T-Mobile’s guaranteed price cut on the device along with an offer of one free year of Netflix when purchased. That’s a student’s dream—not only do they have a premium, powerful tablet to manage their busy lives on, they can also take study breaks and watch free video entertainment at leisure on the crystal-clear, Quad HD 2560×1550, 5.1-inch screen.
Writing is crucial in any form of education so if it isn’t your strong suit, you shouldn’t have to fall behind. A go-to writing app for both mobile and desktop devices is Ginger. It helps students write better and faster by providing assistance in grammar and sentence rephrasing, as well as comes complete with translator, dictionary and text reader to read what you wrote back to you. Communicating through a written format is crucial in education and at a professional level and this is one piece of software that will improve your capabilities in this department.
One of the biggest bottlenecks for students is citing research. It oftentimes comes as an afterthought but is a necessary evil to give credit to those who deserve it. Zotero is a browser extension that can help you automatically generate citations for online sources. It also comes with plugins for Microsoft Word to quickly add the citations to papers. Not to mention, it’s free. Sound like a win-win for both parties? It is.
Group projects can be difficult if there isn’t coordination in place to collaborate. Google Docs is a fitting and useful tool for students to share and edit documents. All files get stored in an online cloud so it’s easier to maintain version control, particularly when there may be a lot of hands in the pot at one time.
School doesn’t have to be hard given the technology that’s available these days. Whether it’s buying the perfect tablet or phablet or downloading software, streamlining learning to be a productive activity can help you grow as a student and ultimately lead you to becoming a contributing member of society that will hopefully make a positive impact on the world in the future after studies.
About the Author
Jessica Oaks is a freelance journalist who loves to cover technology news and the way that technology can make life easier. She is also an editor at www.freshlytechy.com. Follow her on Twitter @TechyJessy.