edtech life hacks

10 EdTech Life Hacks Every Student Needs to Conquer College

Earning a degree takes a lot of hard work and focus, but getting through college in one piece is all about finding shortcuts to maximize and manage one’s time effectively. Edtech life hacks let clever applications and websites do the technical work, allowing students more time for learning and studying.

From scheduling and reminders, to study and presentation tools, there’s an edtech solution to almost any college assignment. To start your school year off smart, here are ten tools you just have to use to make your life easier.

10 Edtech Life Hacks for College Students


1. Quizlet

This site makes cramming for midterms and finals easier, with millions of searchable study guides, flashcards and games. If you can’t find a topic you need, you can customize your own study tools. Quizlet is also a great resource for teachers and can be an engaging alternative to paper study guides.

2. Google Voice Typing

Regardless of your major, every college student can use a reliable voice typing app. From drafting an essay to outlining notes, letting a computer do the typing can alleviate carpal-tunnel-inducing assignments. There are a lot of expensive and flawed transcription and voice recognition services online, but Google’s voice typing function within Google Documents is perhaps the most accurate one you can access for free. To use it, you must open a Google Document in the Chrome web browser. Then, you’ll find “voice typing” under the “tools” drop-down menu.

3. If This Then That(IFTTT)

Have you ever wished you had a genie who could schedule an event, remind you to do your laundry, or organize your email with one command? IFTTT connects multiple devices and applications through a free command, or “recipe,” service. For example, if your FitBit records a sleepless night, Google Calendar will remind you to go to bed earlier. Other recipes connect social media accounts, update you on news alerts, and track online sales.

4. Canva

Unless you’re in art school, design is probably not your forte. But that doesn’t mean your class presentations and Facebook event invites have to be drab. Canva gives you all the graphic materials you need to create appealing visuals, including free stock photos, filters, icons, fonts, and layouts.

5. Doodle

Between group assignments, student government meetings, work shifts, volunteer hours and coffee breaks with friends, college students have a knack for filling up their agendas. Doodle is the handy website that helps you find the best time for everyone and schedule meetings without conflicts. It also easily integrates with Google Calendar so all of your appointments are coordinated in one schedule.

6. Top Documentary Films

When studying notes doesn’t seem to sink deep enough into your brain, watching educational documentaries can be an effective method to prepare for an exam. This blog-turned-community houses over 3,000 documentaries to watch for free, most available in full-length. With 25 categories to browse, this can also be a useful site to search if your professor assigns a documentary for homework.

7. Flipboard

Switching tabs between the news, social media and academic articles takes up a lot of time. Not to mention, it slows your computer down. Flipboard simplifies your media consumption, so you can quickly access your favorite outlets and save stories for later.

8. ZoomNotes

If you prefer taking notes on your tablet or laptop, ZoomNotes is a great application that’s full of comprehensive tools. Sketch with eight different pens and draw diagrams with unlimited zoom capability. You can import and write over PDFs, photos, videos and other documents.

9. Import.io

This site collects data quickly for easy spreadsheets and charts. Simply copy and paste a url that contains a data set (search results and Wikipedia charts work well) and Import.io will turn it into an organized table. You can then export the table as a CSV file, saving hours of pasting and rearranging figures into your own spreadsheet.

10. Kiosko

View the front pages and headlines on major international newspapers dating as far back as 1945. Use this historical archive as a starting point for research and fact checking or download the images for more creative projects and presentations.

Jennifer Ortakales

Jennifer Ortakales

Jennifer is a Boston-based freelance journalist who has covered emerging fashion and New York Fashion Week for Papercut magazine. When she isn't talking people's ears off, she studies art history and reconstructs thrift clothes into her own designs.