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In recent years, technology has become increasingly commonplace in classrooms, from instructors who communicate with students via text, to discussion boards on online education platforms, to electronic textbooks that make it possible to house all your required readings on a tablet.
Here are three innovative pieces of technology that may help you in your college career–now, or in the future!
Livescribe Sky Wifi Smartpen
The Livescribe Sky Wifi Smartpen allows you to elevate your note-taking practices. This pen looks very similar to a regular writing utensil, but it includes multiple technological perks. The pen contains a microphone that can record classroom lectures, and discussions while you take notes, and it can store anywhere between 200, and 800 hours of lecture.
It can also connect to a wireless network, and send your notes and audio recordings to Evernote, which digitally stores them for you. The pen must be paired with special paper, but there is good reason for this. The paper has small markings on it, which enable the pen to sync your audio and notes. In other words, you don't have to buy a paper for college again! You can tap on a portion of your written notes to play back the related audio.
Google Glass is an emerging piece of technology that offers countless ways to help you in college. Google Glass works as a miniature computer that, when worn, projects images, or text before your eyes. This allows you to see what is currently happening, while a smaller screen displays additional, related information, similar to an overlay, or transparency.
In addition to its central processing unit, Google Glass is equipped with a camera, GPS, and a microphone. In the classroom, Google Glass can be used in multiple ways. You can use it to record lectures for later review (with your professor's permission, of course!). During lectures, students can search for information on topics about which they might have further questions.
If your instructor is also using Google Glass, you can directly text him, or her, questions during a lecture. Google Glass may make it possible to have a truly interactive classroom experience, though it is still early in its development (and it is thus expensive).
Apple recently announced another piece of wearable technology that–like Google Glass–might one day be useful to college students. The Apple Watch looks much like a traditional watch, but it houses within it many of the features of a smartphone. Namely, the Apple Watch has fitness, and health-tracking devices built in, which makes it an ideal addition to physical education and health classes.
Given its Walkie-Talkie feature, and voice recognition abilities, some institutions like TAFE Queensland believe that the Apple Watch will be particularly helpful for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, or those students who communicate better verbally than they do in writing. With different vibration notifications, the Apple Watch could also prove to be a useful tool for time management and organization.
Keep an eye out for these savvy items as they continue to emerge!