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Hellllooooo Future Badgers!

As we continue in our educational careers, I have found that technology used in and out of the classroom surrounds our lives more-and-more. Each and every day, there is some new form of technology that is released on ‘the market’ whether that takes the form of an app, or a new phone, the most recent MacBook or medical advances.

While this surge in technology can sometimes be overwhelming, it does actually spell out some good for us Badgers. Some of this tech on the market is student-based or academic-oriented tech, or it’s tech that actually helps with learning, is efficient and improves productivity. As University students, productivity and organisation is arguably everything! Here’s a list of apps and websites that may help you improve your efficiency and productivity once you’re a full-blown Badger!

1. Spark Mail App

Number one on the list is a personal favourite of mine, Spark Mail App. This mailbox application is a perfect mail app for me because I juggle so many different email inboxes and Spark does a lovely job of bringing them all together into one convenient location! This mail app also focuses on “Inbox Zero”, a nifty little feature that encourages you to sort your emails so that they don’t clog up your inbox. By clearing things out — either archiving, deleting or simply saving for later — you become more efficient with your work, and don’t get stressed out by the influx of “things to do” throughout your day!

Spark Mail App is geared towards Mac users, and is available free on the iTunes App Store.

*My friend and Brock Alumni Nigel Crosscombe wrote an excellent, more in-depth piece about Spark on his Tech Ed. blog, check it out!

2. iStudiez Pro

This little number is especially helpful for me because it tracks all of my due dates and grades in one helpful integrated location. Within the app, you have the ability to generate a course schedule (which will also link with your calendar software), which you can then add homework, due dates, assignments, exams and grades to. The app conveniently assigns a grade (percentage or GPA-based) according to the info you put in for each assignment in each class, and it then calculates your final grade and average at the end of the year. So as long as your get your grades back from your professors, you’ll always be in-the-know as to where you’re at throughout the year!

iStudiez is available in both a free and Pro (paid) version for Windows and Apple products.

3. Grammarly

A convenient online and app-based tool that helps sort out your grammar, so that you don’t have to spend too much time looking up grammar rules! The website comes complete with a drag-and-drop platform where you’ll be able to create your own documents within the website, or upload your Word documents to be surveyed and scanned. Grammar mistakes are pointed out to you, and with Google Chrome integration, you can even grammar-check on the fly, so even your Facebook posts will be grammatically accurate! Show off your scholarly skills to your friends and family, so that everyone knows that your tuition money is being put to good use!

Grammarly is available at a free or subscription basis for both Windows and Apple products.

4. Caffeine

Caffeine is a freeware app that keeps your computer screen awake as long as you are! Ever been writing a paper and you leave your computer screen for just a few minutes to look something up in a source, only to have your computer fallen asleep while you’ve been away? It can be tedious to have to type your password in every time you wake your computer up and just sets you back as you try and finish that paper in crunch time. Well luckily you can provide your computer with some much needed caffeine as well! The caffeine app overrides your system’s sleep timer (with your permission) for an allotted amount of time — also set by you every time you open the app — so that you don’t have to worry about being bothered by your computer’s brain wanting some rest. It’s helpful, and convenient!

Caffeine is available online from their website for Mac download.

5. Scrivener

I suppose that most students who aren’t writers-by-trade wouldn’t consider Scrivener (usually geared towards authors) to be a helpful application for them…however Scrivener is the perfect tool for writing just about anything! Everything from novels, to blog posts, to that 10-page essay you have to write can be easily written within the software. Scrivener has sections in which you can store your notes, outline your essay, and even complete the writing. You can then compile the document for publication in a variety of formats and hand in to your professor with a new sense of (mostly) stress-free accomplishment under your belt! Happy Writing!

Scrivener is available online from their website for both Apple & Windows products. The software is available for free-trial download, and offered at a discounted rate for students.

Well Badgers, that about concludes the overview of tech that I use on a regular basis, hopefully you’ll find these apps helpful as well! Happy Badger-ing!

Brock On, Badgers!

Iain

*Note, none of the recommendations contained within this blog post are a result of a paid advertisement or affiliation…I simply wanted to share the knowledge!

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About Iain

Hello Future Badgers! My name is Iain, and I am a fourth year Concurrent Education I/S B.A./B.Ed. student (teaching subjects in Drama & History) and Head Resident in the Residence Department here at Brock! First thing’s first, I love this newfound second home that I call Brock and I’m hoping I can pass off all of that love to all of you! This summer I spent an incredible four weeks teaching and living at an Outdoor Education Camp in the Algonquin Highlands and would love to tell you all about it! Through the experiences as an actively involved University student here at Brock, I have seen that maintaining a social life, as well as an academic life is just as important to becoming a well-rounded and balanced student (it’s almost like eating both your fruits and vegetables!) In the coming months, I hope to pass this knowledge on to you, to ensure that your love of all things Brock grows strong. Brock On Badgers!

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