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Technology Tools for the New School Year

Photo credit: 'zappowbang' on FlickrThere is nothing as important as technology today, and if you don't make use of it to complement your education, you are missing out big time. There is a plethora of options to choose from, so much so that you feel like buying every new gadget that is invented and downloading every new application that is written. However, technology is only as good as the way you use it, so invest in gizmos and applications that will come in handy for the new school year. I am sure you already have your own notebook computer (or netbook) and a smartphone, so I’m going to focus on a few applications that can be downloaded from the Internet and which you can use on a regular basis for free (within a certain storage limit. Here they are, a few tools that could come in handy as you go back to school this year:

  • Dropbox: If you keep toting around a pen drive or a portable hard disk wherever you go, or if you cannot leave town without your notebook because all your files are on it and you cannot get any work done without them, then this is the perfect application for you. It is an online file storage utility that you can download for free from the Internet and install on your system. All you need to do then is to store your files in folders inside the Dropbox folder, and every time you are connected to the Internet, your files are synchronized and stored online. If you are using a friend's computer or one at a public facility, just install Dropbox onto the system, log in with your username and password, and download all your files or just the ones you need to work on currently. Dropbox makes it easy for you to forget about your files, because you can access them no matter where you are.
  • Typewith.me: It is the perfect tool for collaborating on word documents with your classmates and colleagues – they can watch changes being made in real time, they can make changes if they are allowed to by the owner of the document, and it is easy to make remarks or comments as the text is being modified. Use this to work on MS Word files, PDF documents, and even HTML pages.
  • Panda Cloud Antivirus: It is the first antivirus software available from the cloud, and if you are like me and have had horrible experiences with the much-touted antivirus packages from Norton and the other big guns, you are bound to make the switch in a trice. The problem with some security suites is that they literally take over your hard disk and permeate to almost every nook and corner of it; so even if you uninstall them, stray files remain and corrupt other antivirus installations and even your browser configurations at times. With your antivirus package on the cloud, your hard disk is left free of clutter; with Panda, you are protected even if you are offline.
So check out these great tools today, and enjoy the convenience they add to your academic efforts.

This guest post is contributed by Debbie Owen, she writes on the topic of online doctoral degree programs. She welcomes your comments at her email id: debbieowen83@gmail.com.

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