Going to University will be one of the best, but probably one of the most daunting times for some people. But do not fear, technology is here and it will make life a lot better whilst you’re there! Whether it’s gadgets, hardware or apps every inch is covered to ensure University students reach the fullest potential.
Technology is moving so fast, it’s hard to know what the best things to invest in are. Here, CBR has made a list of what we think is the best technology for students across the country to take on their travels to Uni. It will keep you up to speed, in the know and on the go wherever you are – as well as getting yourself a degree!
Let’s cover the ‘basics’ first of all. Of course, you can’t be a student without a hardware device, with many different options to choose from when it comes to educational hardware. Front runners from CBR’s perspective are Google Chromebook, Microsoft Surface Laptop and of course MacBook’s.
The first thing students want is something affordable and the Chromebook starts at a brilliant price of just £189.99, perfect for students on a budget. The Chromebook is a versatile device, as long as you’re signed into a Google account users can transfer data from wherever work is that day, whether it’s Android phone, tablet or laptop, all documents are stored and shared across each device. Chromebooks automatically update themselves so owners don’t need to worry about having the latest software, leave that to the experts.
In comparison, the MacBook comes pretty close except the price difference is somewhat different. At a whopping extra £700 minimum (even with the early bird student offer) a Mac is the pricier way forward as a fresher. Similarly to Chromebooks, data is transferable across all Apple devices including web browsing and cloud documents.
Microsoft Surface Laptops, however, are a new game altogether! Perfectly designed to suit every student out there, whether they’re studying English Lit, Graphics or Production Surface is fit for purpose in every way. Its classic laptop style lets users type, browse and share data like on any other device. However, with its pen and touch screen it takes education to another level. Users can design, create and edit their work at the click of a button, touch of a pen or swivel of the dial, then save the document and open it up where they left off on another device.
Every student needs to invest in Office365 before even moving into halls. A special University Edition is on offer for just £59.99 that includes a four year subscription, for multiple devices, a terabyte of storage and compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Office365 comes with everything; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote.
Another one to use is DropBox, a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronising and personal cloud for all files. The beauty of DropBox is it can be accessed anywhere, anytime and with anyone if users want it to be. Upload everything from word documents to videos and images then download from any device. DropBox is a beneficial tool if students don’t want to heavily invest in a storage device but want a safe way to store larger items.
A final software package beneficial to Uni students is Adobe Creative Cloud. Offered at a 65% discounted rate of £16.24 a month, students and teachers can access Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects and many more Adobe products from their devices. Adobe Creative Cloud software also works collaboratively with both Mac and Surface devices.
All students are looking for the best shortcuts and ways to work around Uni deadlines, socials and waking up in time for lectures. The best apps available to students include day-to-day messaging services, like WhatsApp to ensure students are kept in the loop of every social event going on at University and of course degree course group chats, to make sure work is actually being done.
Other apps that are a download must at Uni include RefME. There’s nothing worse than spending days or weeks writing an essay, to then have to do referencing. Don’t fear as RefME has your back. Simply copy the link of a webpage or insert the name of the book and RefME will create the reference to requirement, whether it’s in text or Harvard referencing the app does it all!
A tedious task at University is lecture notes. Gone are the days of writing or typing out every word lecturers said, instead install SoundNote (for iOS) which acts as a notepad and audio recorder, to store lectures in visual and audio form then simple upload to a device and reuse later. For Android users, the best app to download is OfficeLens. The application allows users photograph a whiteboard then convert it to PDF, Word or PowerPoint documents then store all the data via OneNote or OneDrive to revision at a later date.
Another App students will hugely benefit from and must definitely use is Google Docs. Probably one of the most reliable ways to produce work, by offering transferable documents across not only a student’s individual device, but devices across the entire campus. From the University Library, to personal laptops, simply load up Google Docs, log on and open up work and edit away. Using this app eliminates the need for pen-drives to transfer documents across different devices, and makes work less stressful by allowing students to simply pick up where they left off in their essay from the comfort of their bed.
When travelling off to Uni, Mums always wants to buy some outrageously weird gadget because they think it will be hugely beneficial to studies when it fact it’s completely useless. Instead, ask for something like the Lumie BodyClock Starter or Moleskine Smart Planner that will definitely benefit your work.
Priced at £59.95 the Lumie BodyClock Starter does exactly what it says on the tin, it wakes you up much nicer than a hideous alarm siren would. In a more ‘relaxed’ way, Lumie’s creation gradually wakes you up over a period of 30 minutes, so students aren’t as cranky as they would be after being awoken by a bellowing alarm at 7am. Unless of course, you’re lucky enough to only have afternoon lecturers, then the next gadget might be best for you.
Forget notebooks and laptop, the MoleSkine Smart Planner is the next gadget students must invest in – Mum’s listen up! It has all the traditional style a classic Moleskine notepad would, but designed for the digital age we live in today. Starting at £199.99, the Planner comes with a notepad, pen and charger, as well as the smartphone application.
Simply use the Notepad as if it were in paper form, and as you write the digital pen using infrared camera it captures what is written and projects this back through a smartphone app so notes are digitally stored straight away. Compatible with iOS and Android devices, the planner has a 4.5% error rate and five hour battery life; it’s definitely a worthy investment for fresher’s or third years.