Four of the best online tools to support your studies at University

With the summer holidays coming to an end, the start of the new school year is approaching quickly. It’s around this time many students start looking for new tools to support them as they take classroom notes including pens, notebooks, and highlighters. However, with so much of our lives now being dominated by technology there’s no reason why we shouldn’t also be searching for digital tools too.

Below are a selection of digital resources that you can use to aid your studies. Please note: none of these have affiliate links with our site, we’ve simply selected them because of the value they can add to your learning. 

Otter.ai

When trying to take notes it can be difficult to keep up with the pace your teacher is going, particularly if you are writing or can’t touch type. Here is where Otter.ai can really help. Available as an app to download onto your smartphone, this tool will type out meeting/lecture/seminar notes in real time. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, the software shows captions for live speakers and generates written transcriptions of what has been said. 

The free version of the app gives you 600 minutes of transcription per month, all of which can be uploaded to the Cloud on your phone or laptop. While the transcripts are not always perfect, they capture the majority of what has been said and can be a great reference point. 

Grammarly and the Hemingway App

One of the most complicated aspects of student life is knowing what will help your essays do well. Professors and teachers often have a style of writing they prefer their students use, in order to make any arguments presented in a paper as clear as possible.

Both Grammarly and the Hemingway App offer online services designed to help students streamline and trim down their essays – thus making them concise and easy to read. 

While Grammarly has a focus on picking up misused grammar, such as commas and modifiers, it will also flag any spelling mistakes and can be used for free both on your desktop and on your smartphone. 

The Hemingway App goes one step further, colour-coding long sentences that are difficult to comprehend, as well as highlighting where you’ve used a passive voice, overused adverbs, or if what you’ve said could be said in a more simple way. You can also use the service without the internet but unfortunately it’s not a free tool. On your phone you’ll need to pay a one time fee of around £8.99 and on your desktop around £14.50. 

Quizlet

When it comes to memorising facts and figures for end of term exams, it can be a challenge to get your notes organised in an interactive way. This is where Quizlet can help you practice and master your subject materials. 

Although the app and desktop versions allow you to create your own flashcards, you also have the option to search for flashcards previously created by other users, which can be really helpful at saving you time, for example when studying languages. To use the app, all you have to do is put in the questions and answers for your materials and create a set. Then you’ll have the option to revise by typing in the text perfectly, participating in a quiz, or playing games like matching the questions to the answers. 

The tool is also free and is used by over 50 million students per month. If you wanted to upgrade to Quizlet plus for £2.99 a month, you’d also have the ability to upload pictures to your flashcards and have no ads on the platform. 


Have you used any of the tools above? How did you find them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. And, if you have any questions or other technology queries, please tweet us at @techtroublesho1.

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