Education in the Digital Age: New Tools that Can Help Students Succeed

Education in the Digital Age: New Tools that Can Help Students Succeed
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It’s safe to say that the experience of college students today is unique. 

Amidst an ever declining economy, inflated prices of admission for most colleges and universities, and a pandemic that knocked the industry flat on its rear end, students are rightly more stressed out now than they’ve ever been. Many college students find themselves struggling to stay focused amidst the spreading of a life-threatening disease, which has, in turn, caused many life-uprooting events in their personal lives; all the while wondering if their school will become the latest hotspot for the ever-evolving spreading infection, wondering if their education will continue in-person or if they will be unceremoniously turned out like they were last year. All the while, those who have been forced to adopt a remote education have found themselves struggling to adapt, being more used to (or even just being more disposed to) an in-person education.

This ongoing disaster has affected these students in ways we have yet to understand amidst an already stressful educational and financial climate. It’s safe to say that they need as much help as they can get, especially in times like the last few weeks of the semester: as of the writing of this article, finals week has begun, bringing many students to the breaking point as they try to cram as much as they can for the grade-defining exams ahead. 

Fortunately, there are tools out there that can help students get to the top of their game amidst this ever-changing crisis. The steadily advancing progression of technology in our culture has changed the way education functions, perhaps giving students an additional edge to compensate for the negative ways the modern day has affected them. 

If you’re a student reading this now, the tools listed below may prove useful as you try and make it through one of the most stressful times of the year. Feel free to ask your classmates what tools they’re using as well, as they may be able to give you answers not represented here.

Quizlet

Chances are you’ve been using Quizlet since high school, but just in case, we’ll go ahead and talk about this cornerstone of educational tools. Quizlet allows you to create paperless, digital flashcard sets at will, as well as letting you access flashcard sets that students in that class before you have created; the latter feature is especially important for students looking to make the most of their crunch time, as students from previous classes might have more insight into what will be on the exams. 

However, the real advantage of using a flashcards tool like Quizlet is that you can take your flashcards with you wherever you have internet access, making it possible for you to study at any time and in any place. 

Application Program Interfaces

Application program interfaces (or APIs) are agreements between two different kinds of software that allow them to interact with one another, sharing data and exchanging services in a way that benefits the user. There are a variety of APIs out there available to the public that may provide helpful services for students, helping them study, aggregate data (like real-time weather data) that may prove useful in planning projects, and more. Doing even the most cursory research into the various APIs designed to help students can reveal a variety of potentially useful tools, so don’t be afraid to look up APIs that may help you in your particular major. 

Purdue Owl and Other Free Writing Guides

While you might be tempted during finals week to enlist the help of an essay writing service, you’ll want to avoid taking the easy way out, as those kinds of services are typically frowned upon severely in higher education. Instead, consult a free writing guide like the Purdue Online Writing Lab (or OWL) for the most current style regulations for APA style, MLA, and other popular citation styles. You may find that these writing guides provide a helpful resource, especially in remote education when asking a professor is nigh impossible.

While the age of technology most definitely has drawbacks, it has also provided a variety of tools for people in all professions and experience levels to use. Students should take advantage of the tools available to them with a couple clicks to tilt the scales more in their favor, making it easier for them to shoulder the burden of higher education. 

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