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Smarter Technology: Apps, programs, websites and tools for even better learning

09/19/2016 10:13AM ● Published by Jennifer Gonzalez

By Bianca Braswell 

Social media, games and texting seem all the more enticing when you are in the midst of calculus homework. But we all know procrastination will only hurt you in the end. Nowadays, evolving technology is becoming more and more advantageous to students. This new surge of technology comes with a wide range of technological aids to help students study, but all the options can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. I am going to break down the most useful apps and programs to correspond with a student’s basic studying needs. These are the aids that I find most useful. 

When you want to focus, try an app like Forest. On the app, whenever you want to focus, you set an amount of time that you want to work for and you “plant a tree.” If you try to exit the app before the designated time you “kill” your tree. So, in effect, the more productive you are the more your forest flourishes. This is a simple way to not only keep yourself from the temptation of your phone, but to also positively reinforce staying off of it.  

Keeping yourself organized is just as important as keeping yourself focused, which is why I use Google Drive. Google Drive helps me keep my essays and assignments from cluttering up my computer storage. And I use list/schedule apps such as Wunderlist to keep myself in check. 

Time management is probably one of the biggest problems students face when studying. You spend hours in front of textbooks hoping you absorb the information through some sort of literary osmosis, but what really ends up happening is you spend two hours rereading the same block of text without learning a thing. The fact is most people can’t learn that way. They need some sort of interaction. Quizlet is a great interactive learning app. You search for whatever test you need to study for (if someone else hasn’t created it, you can make your own), and you study using a mixture of flashcards, games and studying tools. For science and math, however, I find that Khan Academy works best for me. They offer free online courses on just about any topic. Whenever I have a difficult time understanding a concept, I go home and search for it. If all else fails, you can always YouTube it. There are several channels dedicated to educational learning such as CrashCourse, C.P.G. Grey or MinutePhysics.  

When it comes to studying, and with all the options out there, I would say find what works best for you. People learn differently and creators understand this. That’s why there are options for every type of learner out there. When you use the tools available to you, I find that it makes life easier, and I end up actually enjoying the process.  


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