Laptops, smartphones, and other types of technology have become a regular part of today’s university life. You use your laptop or smartphone to take notes in class. You also don’t need to visit a physical library to research or access information. Instead, you open a browser on your device, type whatever you are looking for in the search box, and you can access hundreds of websites. And if you need to write papers but don’t have time, you can have them crafted by an expert who offers to write a paper for you online.
Technology has made studying easier than 30 years ago. However, owning technological devices is not enough. You also need to learn how to use it to your advantage. It means developing basic technology skills and knowledge. It will cut your workload and save you valuable time and money.
Ready to take advantage of technology in your studies? Below are a few points you should know. Keep them in mind whether you attend school via distance learning or the traditional in-person way.
Save Your Documents in PDF Format
Many students save their documents in Microsoft Word formats. But this format is known for compatibility issues. There is no guarantee your lecturer’s device will display the file the same way you saved it. So the time and effort you put into making everything perfect may be wasted.
A PDF format eliminates compatibility and formatting problems. You can be sure the content is displayed correctly, no matter what device you use to open the file. There are times when this is crucial. For example, you’ve made a request “to do my paper for me” to an online writing expert. Letting them save the document in a PDF file ensures that any layout and formatting are preserved.
Learn to Use the Keyboard Properly
University students spend a good portion of their time typing. They do this when researching and writing paper online, creating reports, and note-taking. If you can only type 30 words per minute or even less, you have to consider learning the proper typing technique.
Proper techniques will help you achieve maximum typing speed and accuracy. The more words you can type per minute, the faster you will likely finish your coursework. It will help you save time. According to Ratatype.com, increasing typing speed by 20% can save someone up to 35 minutes a day.
Here are some tips that will help you master the keyboard:
- Understand keyboard layouts. Keyboard layout refers to the arrangement of the keys on your computer keyboard. Discover which layout allows you to access letters faster. It may help improve your typing speed.
- Use proper hand placement. To start, position your fingers over the home row keys and hover your thumbs over the spacebar.
- Do not look down at your hands or keyboard. Focus on your screen instead. It will help increase your typing accuracy and memorize the placement of keys.
- Keep on practicing. Studies have shown that using a keyboard frequently can lead to the development of high typing expertise.
Aside from saving time, proper keyboarding technique is also better for your health. It promotes good posture and prevents back or neck strain.
Always Backup Your Data
Your important files and documents aren’t safe on your computer or laptop. These devices can fail or get stolen. Even if your device is in its best shape, there’s a risk of deleting your files. To prevent data loss, you need to have a solid backup strategy.
There are many ways to back up your data, and here are some of the options:
- Flash Drives: Also known as thumb drives or USB sticks, flash drives are portable, cheap, and allow easy file sharing. However, flash drives do not have massive storage capacity. Their small size makes them easy to lose.
- External Hard Drives: These devices are portable, like flash drives, but are larger and offer more storage space.
- Cloud Storage: This option is popular these days. You store your data remotely on servers and access it via the internet. If you only need to save small files, you can take advantage of free cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
The best way to ensure your data is safe is to make two backups. Keep each backup in a different location to protect the data from natural disasters like fire and flood. The frequency of making backups will be up to you. But creating a backup every time you write papers or create enough new files is a good rule of thumb to follow.
Take Advantage of Note-Taking Applications
As a university student, you will need to take a lot of notes. You will be taking notes when writing paper online, during lectures, and during private study time. If you had taken notes manually before, you know how exhausting and distracting it can be. It can also get messy.
Note-taking applications can make the task easier. These solutions enable students to write, type, and draw notes on their devices just as one would use pen and paper. You can add multimedia, live recordings, and files to your notes to enrich their context and meaning. Furthermore, most of these apps store data in the cloud. This makes it possible to share information with other students in real-time.
There are many note-taking apps to choose from. Some are free, and others need a subscription. When you search for must-have apps for university students, you’ll find tons of reviews and lists of what’s supposed to be the best. But really, the best tool depends on your preferences. Don’t be afraid to try until you find what works for you.
Always Use Two-Factor Authentication
Potential threats evolve daily as people become more dependent on technology. Hence, you need to focus on security when using technology, whether offline or online. A two-factor authentication is one of the ways you can boost your cybersecurity.
Dealing with layers of authentication can be annoying. But these layers of authentication will prevent hackers from accessing your personal information.
Use VPN When Using Public Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi is great, but it comes with risks. You don’t know who set up the network and who is connecting. A hacker may be spying on web traffic and catching your personal information. For your protection, consider using a VPN (virtual private network) if you need to connect to public Wi-Fi.
A VPN will disguise your IP address, so any criminal lurking in the dark won’t be able to track you. It also encrypts the information you send across the internet. Hence, the data becomes unreadable to anyone who wants to intercept it.
Aside from security purposes, a VPN allows you to access blocked websites or content. It can be useful when doing research for your paper. A VPN service will let you use the internet as you wish.
Learn to Minimize Distractions From Technology
Technology can be a source of distraction and efficiency. From browsing funny memes on social media platforms, playing online games, and chatting with friends, you can do tons of activities with technology that can distract you from studying.
If technology is becoming a distraction, consider changing your usage habits. For example, check your email only a few times a day and limit your time on instant messaging. You can also set out a certain time of the day for doing fun activities, like playing games online.
Technology can improve your learning experience, just like how it makes our everyday life better. You just need to learn how to make the most out of it with the help of the tips highlighted in this post.
- Hill, L. (2019, December 30). 7 Technology Tips All College Students Should Know. Bank of North Dakota. https://collegehandbook.bnd.nd.gov/7-technology-tips-all-college-students-should-know/
- Keyboarding Education For The College Student. (2022, August 8). Western Governors University. https://www.wgu.edu/blog/keyboarding-education-college-student1810.html
- Note-Taking Applications. (2023, January 14). Academic Technologies. https://academictechnologies.it.miami.edu/explore-technologies/technology-summaries/note-taking-applications/index.html
- Pinet, S., Zielinski, C., Alario, F. X., & Longcamp, M. (2022, August 5). Typing expertise in a large student population. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications; Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-022-00424-3