Roxy: 6 tips for tech-friendly study
Roxanne Parker completed her Bachelor of Arts (Legal Studies/International Relations) with USQ in 2014. While volunteering overseas she found a passion for teaching and returned to USQ to start her Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching (Secondary). After successfully juggling full-time work and part-time study, Roxanne is now living her dream as a full-time teacher.
During my 7 years studying at USQ, I’ve found technology is the key to keeping on top of study (particularly when it comes to lectures!). For me, finding time to watch or listen to lectures is the toughest challenge because I’m always on the go. If you can relate to this, I hope these tips for using tech to study will help you keep your head in the study game:
1. Get an AUX cable or Bluetooth to connect your phone to your car stereo system.
When visiting friends or family in Brisbane, I capitalise on the two-hour road trip by downloading and playing my lecture recordings on the way. This is a great way to catch up if you’ve missed a lecture, and it makes the trip fly by!
Note: don’t operate when driving! Be sure to download and hit ‘play’ before you even start the car.
2. Headphones make it work.
Whether you’re using simple free-with-phone headphones or some high-tech noise cancelling ones, make sure you have a pair in your bag, car, at work and at home! You never know when you might get a spare ½ hour to get this done.
My personal favourite at the moment is watering the garden at home while listening to lectures… it’s really calming and I can focus easily on what’s being said!
3. Get geeky with it!
We’ve just bought the new Apple TV (which is awesome but distracting if you are trying to study… so be careful!) but it allows me (with my iPhone or iPad) to watch a lecture on my TV. I don’t know why, but it really does make the lecture seem about 10 times cooler.
4. Keep software updates… updated.
Logging onto a Blackboard session just to be told your ‘Java is out of date’ can be the most frustrating notification ever. Update all software regularly, check for updates before bed and download them overnight. This saves you time and downloads are quicker when it’s outside of peak internet usage
5. SPAM you later!
When you’re trying to keep in touch with classmates or lecturers, be sure you’ve subscribed to the USQStudyDesk forum posts you want to. USQ’s lecturers automatically subscribe their students to the ‘News’ forum, but you can change your settings to get a daily or weekly dose of these forum discussion updates. This will help you in the long run when trawling through your emails!
6. Sort out your Office (365)
As a USQ student, you can download Office 365 for free… just make sure you have your UMail email address and password ready. Another handy free download available to USQ students is EndNote, a fantastic citation management tool. It’s easy to get your referencing mark to a HD level when you know the tools you are using are trusted by the university!
When it comes to technology, there are so many different levels on the nerd/geek/techno-buff range that sometimes you just want someone to help translate it all! For me, after studying with USQ for 7 years, I’ve found that no question is silly when it comes to technology. So whether you are testing your microphone in an online Blackboard Collaborate session or trying to upload a picture to your USQStudyDesk profile, be sure to check out the FAQs, search the USQ website or ask your SRO for help!