BY Robert Parmer
The ‘holy grail’ of college tech gadgets is still certainly the laptop. But many pieces of important student hardware build upon the basics like smartphones and computers.
Whether for them, or against them, tech gadgets are the new norm for college level students. Some people may question if these tech wonders are must have items for success or a distraction to students.
However, these arguments don’t really hold much credibility any longer. Technology has taken hold of the education system, as online and hybrid learning styles are now very common.
The following gadgets are useful for students with face-paced schedules and lives. Some of these are inexpensive, some may require using a savings calculator to afford, but they are useful in a plethora of ways.
We all know this to be true: textbooks are bulky and heavy. The contemporary textbook is no longer in large printed text format, as digital versions are widely common. In many cases a digital version of all or the majority of college students’ books can be purchased. The practicalities of digital text now certainly outweigh an armful of printed text.
External Hard Drive
Sure, thumb drives are good for quick data transfer and small to medium sized projects, but with an external hard drive no project is too large to keep on hand!
Owning either a traditional or solid state hard drive gives students added flexibility and cancels out data sharing limitations. You’ll also be able to regularly backup your laptop, which will help prevent any student’s worst nightmare: losing everything if your computer crashes.
Portable Smartphone Charger
Busy student schedules oftentimes equate to a lot of racing from class to class, and there’s not always an outlet handy. Luckily, portable phone chargers are available to buy pretty much everywhere and they are increasingly affordable. No matter how busy your day may be, keeping a backup portable charger means never worrying about your phone dying at an inconvenient time.
Digital versions of the old-school pen and notebook are widely available and highly functional. The technology behind digital notebooks has gotten to the point where sensitivity of touch with a digital pen on a screen completely replicates hand written pages.
And if you can’t leave ‘analog’ school supplies behind but want a digital copy of handwritten notes, Evernote’s Moleskine notebooks are a perfect compromise!
Noise Canceling Headphones, and Ear Plugs
Many students let stress build up and fail to recognize that physical side effects of stress exist.
An Ohio University’s Online Nursing points out that there are truly repercussions associated with stress
“Common symptoms of chronic stress include:
- Upset stomach
- Elevated blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Lack of motivation
- Change in appetite
- Change in sex drive
- Anger or irritability
- Difficulty sleeping
Left untreated, chronic stress can also exacerbate the symptoms of other chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.”
Noise canceling headphones help combat stress in public studying environments, such as libraries and coffeehouses.
Also, sleep is oftentimes diminished while attending college. Noise canceling ear plugs help alleviate stress by channeling longer more restful nights. Deeper sleep is more restful sleep.
Virtual reality is one of the most promising forms of modern tech. Virtual learning is truly the future for higher education. Both virtual reality and VR gadgets and apps are becoming increasingly useful for those taking advanced or graduate level courses.
For example, consider the benefits for medical students! Materials that are expensive and hard to come by could be replicated within VR and associated apps. It’s possible to explore human anatomy without using an actual cadaver!
Mobile WiFi Hotspot
Most smartphones have the capability of creating a mobile wifi hotspot for students’ laptops and tablets. Other portable WiFi devices are also available through major cell phone carriers. For this reason an unlimited data plan for college students who don’t want limitations is actually a very fantastic idea, if slight extra cost is affordable.
Imagine how a versatile studying environments would amplify productivity! Working on homework poolside, or in a place that is surrounded by nature actually boosts mood and sparks creativity, and it’s all possible with these modern tech wonders!
Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow him on Twitter @robparmer