Archives for August 2012

New Technologies that Students are Using

The following is a guest post by Ashley Gaynor.  He is a professional freelance writer who entered university when things such as touch screen devices and mobile internet were in their infancy. He discovered that the technology used to help students study, revise and even cheat, has come a long way in a few short years. He also contributes to Degree Jungle’s ranking of online colleges.

There are a lot of technologies that students use, both in hardware and software. This article coves some of the most popular ones.

People studying medicine have been known to download lectures onto their MP4 players and listen to them whilst traveling, or play them when they have a few minutes spare. Students at universities are downloading online lectures based around their chosen subject and are playing them as they drive in their cars.

The software Grammarly is a subscription service, but when students are doing coursework and dissertations, this high tech program can make their grammar and spelling flawless. It can point out the sentence structure points that Microsoft word and other online spelling/grammar checkers are missing. It even teaches students why they were wrong.

Students are using their mobile phone and PDA calendars to organize their lives. They are putting in homework/essay deadlines and reminders, as well as noting down the tasks they have to do in the week. They are also using the text services and social media via mobile internet, to ask other students for answers and advice on their work. They are collaborating on work through social media, discussion forums, Google groups, chat rooms and blogs. They are also searching online for answer sheets to class quizzes.

Using Google on a student’s phone, iPad, tablet, etc is more effective than most dictionary programs when it comes to looking up words. It is quicker and even allows students to look up abbreviations from multiple fields. The same goes for if they are working on a language course and need a word quickly, they can use Google translate and have the word delivered to them before the professor has finished his sentence.

Amazon’s Kindle books for their tablet also has students reading very cheap texts wherever they are, be it waiting for a bus or waiting for their class to start.

There are iPad apps that allow students to write notes and save them. This is coming in handy for people in math lessons to scribble down equations and symbols that they would struggle to do no most computers. Unlike taking paper notes, they can easily erase bits that were drawn incorrectly and the file system means they can use them whenever they wish.

Students in America were exposed for entering cheat sheets into their calculators’ memory banks. Students are also posting their essay and homework questions online on websites such as Yahoo Answers and Freelancer while they are still in class. By the time they get home, they already have their answers ready to write out.

It is common knowledge that plagiarism is searched for with detection programs, but students are using spinning software to help cheat plagiarism detectors and submit work that is mostly not of their own doing.

There is a lot more technology available at students’ disposal and the pressure to achieve high grades is still exceptionally strong, which is making some students use their devices for cheating. Sadly, due to the pressures schools face in their grade averages and their funding, some are being accused of looking the other way when it happens.