Today, there’s not a single subject area left without technological advancement. Even fine arts students use drawing tablets to make sketches before actually painting something. It’s not a definite must but those who want to save their time and effort have to acquire such tech skills as time goes on.
Yes, most students already know how to use their university website profiles, work in Microsoft Word, connect to Zoom lectures, or submit assignments online. However, what about the optimization of the learning process?
Imagine a group of students barely understanding how Excel works. If they were given a choice to learn it themselves or delegate the assignment to someone else, asking WritePaper.com to write it for them would be the most popular answer. It’d be especially true if the deadline was approaching.
However, not everybody has that choice. So, whether you’re reading this to complete your future academic tasks without much stress or just to simplify your current studies, read on to find the most helpful tech skills.
The first thing that any student has to be able to do is google effectively. Asking a proper question is a skill on its own. Yet, asking a machine is a bit of a different task. Search engines don’t understand long explanations, so, to find some specific information, you’ll need to be careful with extra words that will only confuse the engine.
However, googling is not always enough. If you haven’t found what you were looking for in the search results, it doesn’t mean your research is over. Unfortunately, many students tend to think it is.
To conduct effective research, you need to use not only search engines but also scan:
- digital libraries;
- official websites of companies and organizations;
- social media.
The first results in Google will show you the websites that are either good at SEO or paid for advertising. Or, they are just too popular to be buried on the fifth page or even deeper. However, popularity doesn’t equal credibility, and the latter is what students need first of all when writing a paper. So, learn to use filters in the databases to find useful information.
Education, just as work, will never be the same as before the lockdown. Whenever there will be an opportunity (or a necessity) to study online, it will be taken advantage of. It means that sometimes, to access updates and new materials or complete an assignment will depend in full on how your computer functions.
So, you will need to be tech-savvy enough to:
- create backup copies;
- keep the data synchronized;
- protect your device from malware and security intrusions (manage the settings of networks, VPN, and anti-virus software);
- install specific software, including OS (as well as update it timely);
- declutter the computer storage;
- be able to find out at least basic details about your device and network (e.g. IP address, system requirements, etc.).
You’re gonna need to know how to use those sooner or later. If your major is biology, sociology, or another STEM discipline, it will be inevitable almost from the very start. Other students will stay safe from spreadsheets for some time, yet, as the studies progress, even linguists may require them.
Quantitative studies can be conducted in almost any discipline. For a business plan, you’re going to need estimated costs for establishing and running your company. To prove that an author’s writing is rich in particular parts or figures of speech, you’ll need to calculate them and create a chart.
So, master at least the basics. That way, you’ll face much less stress when you will have to deal with a spreadsheet for the first time during your studies.
Presentations are an obvious must for each learner. They seem to be one of the most manageable things students have to complete, yet, some treat them like a Word document and fill them with text on a white background.
You don’t have to be an educated designer to match colors, there are already samples prepared for you. However, if you need to compose a perfect palette, all you need is to search for a resource like Color Picker from HTML Color Codes. See? The research skill stands first in this list for a reason.
In order to compose a presentation that will impress the audience and won’t let you down, you need to address the following technicalities:
- The size and position of the images: no one will be pleased with distorted images that get cut by half when you turn on the presentation mode. Make them neat and proportionate.
- Grouping the objects: when elements slide apart, it ruins your whole work. Group the necessary items on a slide if you need them to move together, be fixed, and not fall apart.
- Using online platforms: Google Slides or Prezi may help you avoid the technical differences between operating systems. So, make sure to master them.
Also, to avoid being clumsy when simultaneously speaking and switching the slides, work on the timing settings. They will allow you not even to look at the slides and proceed with your speech. Of course, you will have to check the slides for glitches and practice your presentation beforehand to keep up with the timing.
GitHub and GitHub Desktop
It may not be so obvious because of the website’s popularity among IT specialists. However, the general aim of GitHub is to store different versions of a project. You can’t use it as a cloud for voluminous files like videos or high-resolution photos, but text documents can be easily transferred there.
The platform helps developer(s) and author(s) to preserve valuable data and be able to reset the project to its earlier version in case of necessity. The main perk is that you don’t need a pile of files you have to name systematically. That thing barely works for anybody.
A paper, coursework, or dissertation can take a long time to complete. Usually, one has to save the versions from different stages of completion. As a result, they store ‘rough draft’, ‘draft 1’, ‘draft 1 revised’ (‘cause you will have to address that feedback before working on the next draft), ‘draft 2’, ‘research paper final’, ‘research paper final revised’, and so on.
This whole mess is avoidable by storing your assignment in a remote repository. GitHub will save only one file, but you will always have access to its whole history of changes.
The platform will also have your back in case your laptop breaks down or files get destroyed by a virus. By downloading GitHub Desktop, you can easily create your account and manage your versions.
The list is not exhaustive but will definitely free up some time for you and simplify your life. It will take some time to master the skills, but it’s worth it in the end. Moreover, they can not only help you during your studies but also make you a good candidate for a future job.