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30 College Tools Which Make College Life as Easy as ABC

30 College Tools Which Make College Life as Easy as ABC

College isn’t that difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the experience a whole lot easier. Don’t struggle through your time, get through it like a boss with these 30 college tools that will make college easier than ever.

1. BenchPrep

Personalize and direct your own learning. Test yourself and improve yourself with this tool. It puts the responsibility for learning back in the hands of the student. You may be passing your mock exams in college while failing your own grade system if you decide to be strict with yourself. It is a very good and serviceable exam-preparation tool.

2. OpenStudy

With this tool, you may make the world of your study group. You may get instant help from a stranger who you find online. You may volunteer, or you may simply take from the community, it is up to you. You may earn volunteer credentials, which you may add to your CV.

3. Assignment Masters

assignment writing service

    Need help to completing your assignment because you have been ill, or because you have forgotten about the deadline, then do what so many others do and have another person write it. The assignment writing service is able to write essays and academic work within a very short space of time, which gives students a little breathing room.

    4. College Tips

    Is it just a big website full of written tips for students? Yes, but why would you need more? There are thousands of online articles that give tips for students, so instead of searching the Internet for a few here and a few there, you may read comprehensive tip lists in one place. Some of the tips are not what you want to hear, and some may upset your parents, but they are mostly true and will save you a lot of trouble and heartache if you take them on board.

    5. Flvto

    This is simply a YouTube converter. Most students want a YouTube converter because you can download any song you like with it without having to pay. However, many students are tired of using converters that tag malware onto the download, or that you use third-party advertising that redirects to malicious sites. Therefore, Flvto has become popular amongst students because of the things it doesn’t do.

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    6. Rate My Professor

    There is no direct benefit to using this website. It is often described by students as the Yelp of the professor-rating world. You are supposed to rate your professors and see other professor ratings. Rate your professors so that other students may see your ratings and pick their classes and institutions a little more wisely.

    7. iStudiez Pro

    As student planners go, this is probably one of the best. It is certainly one of the highest rated. It has quite a few functions, which means that using it is not as simple as many other planning tools. However, its complexity makes it far more useful than its nearest competitors. The color-coding system is also very convenient.

    8. TED

    The TED conferences are as useful as you make them. After all, even some of the most esteemed speakers are able to give terrible presentations. Sadly, it is often filled with people that seem to consider themselves experts and use the TED to validate their high ego. Nevertheless, if you are willing to give it a try, you may find a few lectures that are worth your time.

    9. Mint
    Mint

      Mint is rather well known in the student community for helping people manage their budgets and their money a little better. There is a section on the website that offers you a series of savings, or you may jump right in and start using the online system that allows you to set up budgets and then manage them in real time.

      10. InstaGrok

      This is a learning tool that helps you remember your course content by showing you basic facts and key concepts. The idea is that you will always get a passing score if you learn the very basics, and then anything you learn after that point is simply increasing your overall score. You may add notes, journal excerpts, and mind maps.

      11. SugarSync

      Students that are used to backing up their files will love this tool. Sadly, you have to pay for it, and the website is annoying with its live chat popping up, but if you have the money and you backup a lot, you should consider this tool. It allows you to backup your files with the same file structure that you have on your computer and/or phone right now. It makes backing up a little easier and far more convenient.

      12. Quizlet

      Create your own study set with this tool and learn whichever way you see fit. Use other people’s flashcards and quizzes, or make your own along with making your own learning games. It makes learning a little easier and a little less tedious.

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      13. Sworkit

      Sworkit

        In essence, this game is trying to be your personal trainer. It gives you customized workout routines that you may try while you are out and about. It gives you workouts for cardio, for strength and for yoga. It will also take you through your stretches too.

        14. Dictionary.com Mobile

        The downloadable version is rather goods because it gives you over 2 million word definitions that you may research offline. It also has an offline thesaurus you may use, and if you are online, you may also use the translation software. It is easy to use and it has a word-of-the-day function to help increase your vocabulary.

        15. Koofers

        The Koofers website is good for students that can afford to use it. The website allows students to rate their professors, to revise, and to practice by using Koofer’s mock tests. It is mainly a study website that was created as an alternative to other teaching mediums. It gives students another way of revising, but you will need to pay for their best studying services.

        16. Study Blue

        The Study Blue is great because it offers students a variety of digital tools that they can use to revise and learn. Most students use thing such as their Flashcards to learn, and some use their testing tools to hone their skills. The website is free to use at first, but you do need to start paying if you want their best features like access to their flashcards library.

        17. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

        Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

          This is an iOS app that tries to get you out of bed by forcing you to go to another room. The way it does it is to have you take a target location image. This is a location that is not to close to your bed, but is not too far for you to get to. When your alarm goes off, the only way you may turn it off is to go to the target location and take a photo. It also has countermeasures in case you try to fool it.

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          18. Half
          Half

            Half is eBay’s answer to Amazon, where you may sell your books, movies, games and music without paying any fees upfront. Instead, you pay your fees at the end of the month if your items sell. One of the great things about this website is that it is directed and aimed at younger people, and the rental section is good for students that are too worried to download pirates.

            19. Wolfram Alpha

            The reason why the marketing for Wolfram Alpha is so vague is because they are very much like Wikipedia, but they are trying to pass themselves off as some sort of supercomputer app. Nevertheless, if you are doing research, then you may find content you can reference if you use Wolfram Alpha rather than Wikipedia.

            20. Ice Cream Apps

            A great many students use Ice Cream Apps as their personal toolbox of apps. There is a PDF converter, an e-book reader, a slideshow maker, an e-book reader, an image resizer, and so forth. Most students are able to live with the free versions and do not need to download the pro versions.

            21. IFTTT

            This is a rather odd website because it was created to help people automate their lives in one way of another. The more research and learning you do with regards to how to automate, then the more you get out of the website. The main idea is that you connect your devices and apps, and link them with “if this, then that” statements.

            22. Dragon Dictation

            You are able to dictate onto your phone with this tool. Instead of writing on your phone, you are able to speak the words and it types them for you. The only problem is that many times you are not in the position to give yourself little voice notes. For example, you cannot take dictated notes in class, and people may complain if you start writing your essays in the night by talking them out. Nevertheless, if you are sick of typing into your mobile device, then Dragon Dictation may be just what you need.

            23. StudentRate

            This website offers a series of deals for students. It is mostly centered on fashion, money products and technology, but you will also find travel options and entertainment deals. The quality of the deals is rarely worth shouting about, but the sheer volume of offers the website has means it is worth trawling through the terrible deals to find the diamonds in the rough.

            24. Slack

            If you are working as a group for a college and/or university project, you may need to stay in touch with your coworkers. Using Facebook messenger is one way, but it is not very user-friendly and efficient within an academic setting, that is why the Slack tool was invented. It helps you stay in touch, and it helps correctly archive your messages because you will probably need to keep returning to a minority of them in order to continue your project.

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            25. RealCalc

            RealCalc

              Have you forgotten your scientific calculator? If so, you may quickly download this app and start your calculations. It does all the things a regular scientific calculator does with the only exception being that you are not allowed to take your phone (and calculator app) into your exams.

              26. Audible

              This is a library full of audio books, and audio books are fantastic for students. You are able to learn while you ride on busses, drive, cycle and walk. All the time as you listen to the audio book – you are learning. If you listen to music on a regular basis, then replace your song tracks with audio book tracks and learn as you travel. It’s a great way of absorbing larger chunks of information without really having to put a lot of effort in.

              27. Any.do
              Any Do

                There are many to-do list apps out there and this is one of the more popular ones. Students are spoilt for choice when it comes to to-do apps. Is this the best? Some students think so, and some disagree, but few would say it is a bad or useless to-do list app.

                28. Freedom

                If you find yourself being repeatedly distracted by apps and websites, then there is the Freedom app. You will have to pay for the software, but it allows you to install it on tablets and phones, which makes it rather more useful for mobile-obsessed youths. It may help students improve their focus if they use it correctly.

                29. Studious

                Studious

                  Silence your phone in class with the touch of a button, save your notes, or have your phone remind you when your tests and homework are due. Most students use it as an organizer that is specifically built for college life.

                  30. SelfControl

                  This is a Mac app that you have to download onto your PC or laptop. You set a time and/or date and it helps you avoid distracting websites by stopping you from using/seeing them. It has a few safeguards to stop you abusing the system by trying to switch it off whenever you seek out distraction.

                  Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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                  Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                  5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                  5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                  Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

                  This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

                  Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

                  Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

                  Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

                  To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

                  What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

                  Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

                  LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

                  On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

                  Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

                  5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

                  There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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                  With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

                  Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

                  Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

                  1. Canvas Network

                  Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

                  Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

                  Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

                  To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

                  Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

                  Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

                  Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

                  The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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                  In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

                  Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

                  2. Google Classroom

                  This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

                  Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

                  Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

                  With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

                  Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

                  Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

                  3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

                  If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

                  Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

                  It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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                  Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

                  Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

                  Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

                  4. Absorb

                  This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

                  Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

                  Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

                  The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

                  Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

                  The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

                  Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

                  Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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                  5. Watershed Collaborative

                  Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

                  Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

                  While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

                  If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

                  Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

                  Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

                  Honorable Mentions

                  There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

                  Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

                  1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
                  2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
                  3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
                  4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
                  5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

                  Conclusion

                  There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

                  Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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