Apps and social media

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There are a wide variety of apps and social media sites which can help you in your studies. Just because mobiles, tablets etc. are often seen as luxuries, it doesn't mean that they can't be extremely useful for studying.

Social media

You can see the most recent Tweets from my Twitter feed on the right, which is where I update about new books arriving in the library, among other things. Many organisations are on Twitter, and even if you don't want to Tweet yourself, it is worth signing up to Twitter and following useful or interesting people. On Twitter, people and organisations can send brief updates (up to 140 characters) and often include links to news stories and web sites of interest.

For instance, you can follow me at @dhldavidb or the Drill Hall Library at @drillhalllib. Each of the Medway Universities has a Twitter account as well - see @UniofGreenwich for the University of Greenwich, @UniKent for the University of Kent or @canterburyccuni for Canterbury Christ Church University. Any professional bodies you work for/alongside will almost certainly have a Twitter account as well, and it's worth keeping an eye on these for important developments and sometimes some light relief!

Linkedin is recognised as a useful site for professional networking, and is normally kept free of the more light-hearted, frivolous updates which other networking sites can be criticised for. It is used both for keeping track of existing professional contacts and for reaching out more widely within professions to network, learn about best practice and seek advice or assistance. Google+ is often also used for professional networking, and has a presence from many professional organisations and newspapers. A useful feature of Google+ is "circles", which provide a space for online sharing and discussion amongst people interested in specific topics or belonging to particular organisations.

Facebook is often overlooked for academic and professional purposes, as it is a recreational site for most users. However, it is possible to create "secret" groups on Facebook for connecting with other students or professionals. If using Facebook, it is important to note your privacy settings - always be sure of exactly what the whole world can see. If in doubt about something, don't post it!

Apps

There are many apps available for smartphones and tablets which can be useful for studying.

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There are many apps designed for taking notes, and Evernote is my particular favourite - I find it useful for taking notes in meetings that I attend, and many students find it useful for lecture or seminar notes. You can save or email the notes easily. There are free and paid versions available, and it works on iOS, Android and Blackberry. A good alternative is Soundnote, which you can use to record lectures/seminars (always get permission first!) and make notes that are timed to the teaching.
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