Google Helps Students
Before textbooks or libraries, the go-to resource for any college student dilemma — particularly for distance learners — is the Internet. Therefore it only makes sense that Google, easily the most popular and trusted search engine, provides a number of tools specialized for current and prospective college students. If you find yourself in a rut on campus – whether it involves course work, transportation, or your social life around campus – consider turning to these Google resources to resolve your problems:
It is common knowledge among the moderately computer literate population that Internet Explorer is a browser of the past, occasionally used only for those pesky websites that require it. Firefox was the response to pleas for a more spam-free and user-friendly browser at the turn of the millennium, but now there’s little question as to which Internet browser tech-savvy college students are using: Chrome. With a sleek interface and faster results, this browser is considered a must-download for the computer residing in your dormitory, or the laptop you’re toting around campus.
Google Calendar & Google Tasks
College students have a lot on their minds, between deadlines, extra-curricular club meets, and keeping up with campus life. Most would agree that, without regular reminders for deadlines, extra-curricular club meetings, and social activities are a must, they’d be completely lost. Instead of worrying about remembering to carry your flimsy, paperback planner, make sure your schedule is always within reach through Google Calendar and Google Tasks. The former serves as a personalized calendar that sends reminders to any device about upcoming due dates or events, while Google Tasks allows students to build and frequently update to-do lists, and cross off projects as they are completed.
That’s right, there is an entire search engine dedicated to providing credible results for college students aching for a final source in their term papers. After all, we all learned in high school to take popular online search results with a grain of salt. Google Scholar eliminates the need for second-guessing your sources. Students can use this specialized search engine to find literature, journal articles, books, legal texts, and more. With advanced search options, you can set up your Library Links that allow you to search and pull preferred results directly from your college or local library. Additionally, users can choose to display citations with search results, making the icing on the cake for students who dread writing bibliographies.
Google Maps, Goggles, and Places
New to your college town and hesitant to explore for fear of getting lost? Google hosts a variety of tools with the simple purpose of guiding you through this potentially uncomfortable transition. Google Places can show you which off-campus social scenes are rated the best by your peers, while Google Maps can give you directions there directly from your dormitory. If you prefer to aimlessly explore, or you find something noteworthy on your journey, you can take a snapshot of a landmark or storefront to learn more about the site. Google Goggles can also provide details about products, like books or food items, scan text documents for later reference, and translate written text.
There’s no need to waste space on software when the most commonly used functions within Microsoft Office are available through your Internet browser. You can write, modify, and print documents and spreadsheets directly from Google Docs. When it comes to group projects, there’s no need to worry about missing attachments when you can simply share documents with your classmates. You can watch collaborations take place in real time, and print the finished product without a second thought through the essential Google tool.
Sending emails to mass audiences can be tricky, especially if you’re the one responsible for the transmission of information. Google Groups allows users to create lists for their contacts, then send relevant messages to the list instead of scrolling through contacts to find all the appropriate recipients. Personal and organizational management becomes much simpler when you can send invitations or announcements to a pre-determined circle of people.
Many equate Google+ to any other social networking platform, overlooking the unique features it offers. Google Hangouts allows students to create a private video chatroom for up to 10 friends. This is a great solution not only for keeping up with friends and family back home, but also for study groups, or to supplement the Google Docs tool when collaborating on major projects. Through Google+, users can filter various friends, relatives, acquaintances, or colleagues into circles, simplifying mass communications.