The IT age has changed the world we live in. It changed the way we learn the news, the way we communicate, the way we work and even – the way we study. Being a student myself, I can say that studying with the help of technology has its good and bad sides.
Let’s start with my personal favorite – the kindle. Having a kindle will save you a lot of money you would usually spend on printing study materials and books. Also, instead of buying physical copies, you can buy digital ones, which are always slightly cheaper. Plenty of classic literature is also available online for free. Besides, it means you won’t have to carry a ton of paper in your backpack all the time. It will also speed up the process of finding a chapter or a paragraph you need; just use the search bar and there it is. And, last but not least, if you have your materials on kindle, you can study even with the lights are off, which is something that your roommate will surely appreciate in those unfortunate times when you’re pulling an all-nighter, and he’s trying to sleep.
Think of the times before Internet, when students would spend countless hours in trying to find valuable sources and referential works for their essays or papers; now you just have to go online, find a database of peer-reviewed articles such as JSTOR database, and type in the keywords.
The importance of social networks should not be forgotten as well; there are many Facebook groups created by colleagues who are in the same class or study program. These groups exist to ease the sharing of information and materials, so it’s important to check them out frequently. This is where smartphones or smartwatches, such as the infamous cheating watch, come in real handy. Today, even low-end smartphones or smart watches offer Internet capabilities, and there are plenty of social network related applications to help you be informed.
But, the online era has it bad sides as well. As you already know, Facebook is a huge time consumer. To be honest, the Internet can also be a time consumer. I myself have the unfortunate habit of procrastination, and there were times when I would say, “okay, it’s time to do some work”, sit at my laptop… only to spend hours watching mindless YouTube videos or playing games. Then I installed a program called Slife, one of many time management tools, which tracks your computer usage and creates reports on how much time you spent on your computer and doing what. As I expected, it turned out I spent most of my time doing nothing useful; so mental discipline if definitely required. There are even programs which can block your access to Facebook or other social networks or limit the time you can spend on them (you set the limit yourself), but I never got that far.
To conclude, there are both pros and cons of using technology to help you study. I would say the pros are definitely stronger than cons; the ease of access to information is something which helps every student a great deal. On the other hand, technology seems to help procrastination, at least in my case, but, realistically, some seriousness and dedication always solves that problem.