The Tech-Savvy College Student

A day in the life of today’s busy college student can be stressful. Between juggling classes, work stress, homework schedules, tutoring options, and navigating the crowds on campus, there’s often limited time for fun, games, and just kicking back and relaxing. Today’s web-savvy college students are finding new and inventive ways to manage their time and keep a flexible schedule. From tracking laundry room availability through their cellphone, capturing podcasts of missed lectures, and organizing their next gathering through social networking sites and announcements, more college students are finding the web’s capabilities can cross a variety of platforms and devices.

Staying connected on campus is usually easy with many universities and colleges hosting free wireless internet access. Wi-Fi capabilities at community coffee shops and libraries can help students stay connected with old friends and family with e-mail and instant messaging. But, while they’re busy on campus, they can pick and choose from plenty of amenities and innovative time management tactics.

Getting comfortable and situated with roommates and classmates is essential for the college experience. Besides physical networking at campus events and social groups, networking sites such as Facebook and campus-specific dating sites are a rising trend. College students can setup profiles, meeting places, and arrange events easily. University of Wisconsin-Madison students use the BadgerMatch website that has recently evolved to cover the entire Madison area; it’s similar to a Match.com dating site arrangement. The popular Madison online dating hub is MadCityMatch and it currently has over 550 registered members.

Esuds.net offers college students a chance to coordinate their laundry schedules and needs with utmost efficiency. Hundreds of schools across the country have partnered with the program. Esuds lets students hop online to check availability of washers and dryers in each laundry room. They can even activate the washer and dryer using their unique pin, and get an e-mail notification or cell phone update when laundry is complete! What better way to make use of laundry time with the advantage of real-time status capabilities?

Rave technologies offers a host of security functions and schedules for campuses across the country, with GPS-enabled security devices such as Rave Guardian. Guardian offers extra campus safety by tracking students via cellphone. Additional features include delivery of ‘daily life information’ to cellphones: vital information such as bus schedules, updates from professors, and campus events can be easily accessed. According to the Rave Wireless website Montclair University has taken the next step by offering pre-loaded Rave-enabled cellphones to all incoming students. The partnership with Sprint allows reduced or no-fees for its users on campus.

Navigating around campus and surrounding communities is getting easier with Google Maps and website-specific maps targeting local areas. As Google Maps increase in scope, coverage, and size, more students can simply log in for specific directions, plot addresses, and create their own Google maps for reference points of favorite destinations and hotspots in their area. Google Earth lets users share their maps with others, creating another opportunity to learn about any area from the comfort of the dorm room!

A sense of community and connection is vital for any college student experience. With today’s innovative technology and capabilities, thousands of students can harness the power of the internet in daily life. Saving time on chores, trips, and social networking gives the modern-day student a glimpse at the future skills of time management, and can sharpen their technological ‘prowess’ in the process!

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