I recently went through a few sites and blog post that discussed “must have gadgets for students”. I think the only must have you need for study a computer, pen and paper and your brain. However, many gadgets can make your life easier especially during your study abroad. The list based on others recommendation and my personal experiences. My focus on the stuff I used or consider useful if would have them during my master program. Some of the stuff will come with a recommendation but like laptop or mobile phone cannot selected for everybody so I let you decide based on your needs and budget.
Laptop obviously a must have for your study. Nowadays you have to do your assignments essays on computer not to mention the research. Laptop also provides the freedom for you to get the wireless capabilities and allow you to sit around the campus or use your own laptop in the library. Most of the laptops today provide the same performance as desktop computers and with long battery life unbeatable option. Some of you might say a cheap desktop at home better and cheaper and you can use the school computer on-site. Well try this during the exam period when everyone buzzing around the library and stuff. It is happened with me when I had to wait more than an hour to get access to school computer.
Pen drive – Kingston DataTraveler 100 16GB
Although must have for security reasons. Even you saved all your work on your computer should have a secondary copy in the pen drive. Or you can just carry your work between the school and home if you using the schools computer. The “double save” might sounds paranoid but happened with me when I had to submit my work printed and digital format (CD). All the CD’s were unreadable on the schools computers and the pen drive copy saved my life. In addition, I always sent a copy to my own Google mail account, call me paranoid but better safe than sorry.
Actually, it is not a gadget more like a service. I recommend Dropbox. You are able to store up to 2 gigabyte data online for free. I found this very convenient. The client program updates the online folder automatically and you can access anywhere with any computer with internet connection. I consider as a virtual pen drive. Dropbox provide you a web surface to access your personal folder with your login name and password. You might think it is too many security but believe me if your computer dies one day and you do not find your pen drive Dropbox is life and time-saving. It saved mine few times. It is working in the background you will not even notice it.
Well I guess everyone has at least one so I do not really need to explain this. Nevertheless, how your cell phone can help your study? Certain kind of phone could. I mean smartphones not the basic models. I recommend having a smartphone like Nokia E series, Blackberry or iPhone 4. You can access your emails all the time even can connect to the virtual blackboard if you need to check it on the way. I found my Nokia E71 very useful because I could access my Dropbox through 3G. When I did not find WIFI for my laptop I was able to make a hotspot from the E71 with the Joikuspot application. Joikuspot create a two-way connection and provide you a wifi access point with the phone 3G and WIFI connection. The basic version is free.Of course, if you connect your phone with a cable it is much simply.
In addition, you can use your phone as an alarm clock to be sure not to miss early lectures.
My tip: Keep it far from your bed so when it rings you have to get up, no chance to “snooze”.
If you are, night owls like me and difficult to get up in the morning you might want to have one of these rolling alarm clocks .
Literally, you have to get up and chase it around in the room to shut it.
Book scanner – Wizcom SuperPen
I only recommend this if you cannot make a photocopy from the book’s chapter you need. Specially during the exam period you might facing the situation: all the copies already out from the library and you only can use the reference one which you cannot take home. During exam period when you need a lots of book for your assignments (for example postgraduate level in UK they require at least 4-5 books for the research and referencing). Therefore, if you are not quick enough will end up in the library for long hours. Book scanner can help you in case you are not able to make photocopy in the library or can save you money (photocopy going to cost you in the library). Open a book, start scanning the text, it’ll get stored in the flash memory on the device, where you can plug it into your computer and read again. A brilliant invention for note taking and research, or even copyright infringement if necessary.
Dictaphone – Philips LFH0600 Digital Voice Recorder
Universities are podcast their lectures nowadays, but not all of them. Just try to sit as close as possible to the teacher and pop your Dictaphone to the table. I would find useful during my team projects when I had to work with other students and preparing together for the group presentation. Of course, you always can take notes but if you have a Dictaphone why not use it. Alternatively, you might buy a mp3 player with recording capability but the sound quality probably a bit lower.
Noise cancelling headphone – Koss Earphone
Noise cancelling headphone also not a necessity but could be useful in many ways. My personal favourite the “KOSS The Plug” which is provide perfect sound quality for listening music and keep the surrounding world noise outside. Alternatively, can use it as an earplug if flatmates or the neighbours decide to throw a party when you study. I found it useful in the busy library also. It is very comfortable I even can sleep with it.
Amazon Kindle – Kindle Wireless Reading Device Free 3G + Wi-Fi
A full library in your pocket. You can access a tremendous amount of books, online newspapers and Wikipedia. In addition, you can upload books in pdf format. You can find many books online in pdf format even rare ones. The new model already on pre order in the UK too. The only disadvantage, it is not cheap. However, if you can afford it you will not regret.
Category: tips and tricks