In college, sitting in the library with a study group is a traditional way of learning interactively and gathering information from sources other than the instructor or the class text. Conversation among students is key to their absorbing information, brainstorming new ideas, collaborating on projects and learning how to work successfully with others.
In the digital age, more and more tools for collaborative and innovative learning are becoming available at a rapid pace.
If you are a visual learner, there's a website for that. If you are searching for other student's insights into a piece of literature, there's a place for that. Students who don't take advantage of the variety of educational tools and aids that can be found online are missing out on opportunities to enhance their education, make learning easier, and be creative and expressive in ways they never have before.
Ice Cream Apps is a Windows based platform that has programs to help create presentations, use e- readers, and more. Handy utilities for and non-Mac user.
Audible offers books that can be downloaded to smartphones and personal computers for students who find listening an easier way to process information than just reading a text.
Not sure how to format a bibliography? Easy Bib will do it for you for just about any form of text.
Need a boost beyond the usual caffeine to keep going on a paper?
Written Kitten will show you a picture of a darling little kitten after you reach your target word count. It may sound silly, but it also sounds like it would work. And it's less calories than a caramel macchiato!
Do you have an obscure, random question? Are you working on a project about a little known town or hardly-ever-read piece of writing?
Ask ChaCha a question and chances are you will have your answer quickly and easily. Great for trivia games, too.
With thousands and thousands of books available for free, Gutenberg can save a lot of money on books for college literature and history classes.
Another great resource for free books online is Bartleby. Search for specific quotes, poems, terms and phrases.
If research is getting tedious and you need a break from the written word, Hippocampus is the answer. Search for topics and watch videos that are educational and interesting. Great for visual learners.
Visual aids and guides are easy to make with Instagrok. Just put in the information you have about a topic and Instagrok will create a sharable interactive concept map.
Connect with students all over the world and share flashcards, notes, information and more on StudyBlue. Crowdsourcing has never been this easy or this educational.
Another site for worldwide connection and information gathering from fellow students is GoConqr. Share your knowledge and learn from others at the same time. A virtual study group available any time you need it.
Distance learning is a big trend, and edX is a terrific place to start. There are courses available from a wide range of schools and covering many topics.
Since it's free, students can dabble in courses they are interested in without making a semester-long financial commitment.
Flashcards for any class you can imagine are ready and waiting at StudyStack. Save your hand from cramping and get them already made for you, and available online, just by searching the library of subjects. Flip through thousands of flashcards without the tedious work of creating them yourself, or if writing them helps you learn, you can copy the information onto your own cards, too.
If you need more than just flashcards and class notes to help you, CourseHero is a website you need to check out. With tutoring available 24/7, students can get the one-on-one help they may be needing to be successful in college. Don't be left hanging when you're studying at 1 am and your professor or classmates are sound asleep.
Quizlet offers user-supplied lists of topics, questions, ideas, tests, and so much more for any topic you can think of. From vocabulary lists to summaries, you can find troves of information to help prep for tests and quizzes, research in-depth for papers and theses, and find little-known bits of information that can take a good paper to a great one.
Studying in college is quite different from studying in high school. Courses are structured differently, professors are not always accessible when students need help, subjects can be narrow and deep instead of broad and shallow. The website HowtoStudy offers a search tool that takes you to a variety of articles and tips for studying nearly any subject or in any format you can think of. It takes a little digging to get to the good stuff, but for those in need of help it's a tool that shouldn't be overlooked.
Also available to help with study skills is Studygs.net. Available in 39 languages, Studygs helps students to understand the different techniques needed to study for different courses. In addition, there is help with time management and memorization.
Having trouble with being distracted by websites or apps on your devices? SelfControl is an app (for Macs only) that will allow you to set a time limit and block those irresistible sites and downloads. There will be plenty of time for Candy Crush and Snapchat after finals - for now, just say no with SelfControl.
For math-based majors and classes, often a variety of calculators are required. Android users can download the RealCalc scientific calculator, which takes the place of all those clunky little machines.
For art and design majors, Cargo Collective is an excellent place to display and promote your work. Each contributor has his or her own free standing website that is linked to this beautiful and easy-to-use virtual art gallery, allowing other artists - students or not - and art lovers to see their work.
Getting organized is easy with iStudiez Pro. Plug in your classes, assignments, test dates and other information and and let iStudiez Pro get your schedule set up and ready for you to follow.