Social media and apps for Sport and Exercise Sciences

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

Twitter can be a fantastic tool for gathering information and connecting with researchers, potential employers and others. 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. 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.

For instance, you can follow the Drill Hall Library at @drillhalllib. Each of the Medway Universities has a Twitter account as well - see @UniKent for the University of Kent or @UniKentSportSci for the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Various professional organisations have Twitter accounts 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!


It is not always appropriate to use apps in work or placement environments. However, there are many apps available for smartphones and tablets which can be useful for studying.

Speed Bones and the related apps Speed Anatomy, Speed Muscles and Speed Angiology are great revision aids for anatomy. They are all very cheap and also come in free ("lite") versions as well, available for iOS and Android. They work by either showing you pictures and getting you to identify the bones/organs or by naming the item to find and getting you to click on it. Basically a portable version of flashcards with a game-like feel to it. Handy for hammering home the names of all the bits of anatomy you need to remember. There are many other apps designed to help with learning anatomy, and different people will find different apps more useful than others (just like with anatomy and physiology textbooks).
PubMed for Handhelds is a handy app which searches the PubMed database. It gives several options for searching, but the most useful of these are the PICO search, which allows you to enter keywords in a structured way or Ask Medline, which allows you to ask your question in 'natural language'. In both cases, the search results will link you to the abstract or full text of the article if it is freely available online. Available on iOS and Android.
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 (always get permission first!) and make notes that are timed to the lecture.
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