Monday 25 March 2013

Five ways your phone can help you succeed in your studies

You may have just started university or you may be a seasoned veteran staring down the barrel of your final year. You may be vying to graduate with a summa cum laude or just trying to find a way to pass. Whichever group you belong to, the chances are that the key to giving your results a serious boost may be sitting right there in your hand.
Now obviously this works best if you are lucky enough to have a smartphone but older phones can still serve a purpose - it’s all about utilising what you have to hand. Using your phone in these five key ways can genuinely help you boost your marks:

1. Record your lectures and classes
Lectures, tutorials and workshops are incredibly important. They are filled to the brim with information that is vital to your success but perhaps more significantly they provide key signposts on how you should engage with a topic and crucially, how your lecturer thinks. That’s the person who’s going to be marking your work.
What’s more, lectures are a convenient and quick way to get you up to speed on a topic or provide an overview come exam time. With all that said, it’s almost a crime against your education to let them pass by in an hour-long flash. You need to record them.
This is where your phone comes in. Put it down in front of you, hit record and you can start building your personal library of everything the lecturer has ever said. This can then be used how you wish. If you have the facilities available to you, upload it to a website like SoundCloud which carries the additional advantage of allowing you to attach your own notes to various points in the recording. It’s brilliant and of course, it’s entirely free.

2. Reading
You’ve taken a trip to your study session but you’ve realised you’ve left a book at home. Or a book you’re reading has cited something which sounds interesting, but the library doesn’t have it in stock, or someone has already taken it out, or you’re nowhere near a library and you need it for your assignment right now.
As long as you have access to the internet on your phone you have access to Google Books and many other e-book services which may carry a copy of the passage that you need. Carrying a virtual library containing hundreds of thousands of books in your pocket can enable you to do the breadth of reading required to get you the marks you desire. It also allows you to strike while your mind is hot on wider reading possibilities, therefore optimising the impact on your thinking and on your work.

3. Plan your time
You can use your phone as a mobile diary by using notes and your built-in calendar. Organisation is the key to achieving good grades as is getting your work done in the most efficient way possible. And if you aren’t already using your phone as a way of doing this, you should at least give it a try. It’s the one thing that’s with you 24 hours a day.

4. Turn your phone into a study buddy
Is procrastination winning out after you’ve spent all of that time making your study cards? Well, turn your phone into the personal trainer you’ve been wishing for all of these years. The Study Buddy app keeps track of how efficiently you are working by monitoring the number and duration of breaks you are taking per study session. It will also immediately record the length of time you spend on any phone calls during your ‘work’ and will factor any texting time into account too.

5. Working on the move
Now that you’re working and filing your information efficiently what’s next? Working some more. “But I don’t have any more time to work” you say. Taking a train journey? Going on the bus? Waiting for a friend? Exercising? Get your recorded lectures on your phone out, listen to them and make notes as you go along.

So you’ve got revision cards, recorded material, a library’s worth of books at your fingertips, your essays, your notes, the Internet - available everywhere you are, whatever you’re doing.

You may think of yourself as just a pen and book kind of person but with the potential of that education-boosting powerhouse you carry around with you everywhere - can you afford to ignore it?

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