10 Online Tools You Should Use for College This Year

Published by Hope Nelson 8 months ago on Fri, Sep 1, 2023 2:46 PM

The Internet is always gaining influence in the academic world, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic forced many students to complete online classes for months or even years. Here are ten of the best (free!) online tools that can streamline, organize, or provide support for your academic journey, whether it takes place inside or outside of a traditional classroom! 

1. Notion 

Organization is an art for many college students, and Notion is the place to organize all aspects of life, from the academic to the personal, while also combining them into one aesthetically pleasing workspace. Notion allows users to create a personal dashboard, along with different pages for any other needs. Templates provided range from calendars to lists of books to read and can be customized to fit each user’s needs.  

2. Google Calendar 

Google Calendar is just one of many Google products that can help students make sure that their assignments, group projects, and personal events are all scheduled in one convenient location. Color-coded events, the ability to schedule events that repeat, and the easy-to-read visual layout all contribute to the usefulness of this tool. Google Calendar is perfect for college students who wish to stay organized during the school year and beyond.  

3. Khan Academy 

Khan Academy, a website founded by Salman Khan in 2006, is a free educational tool that offers short online lectures for students of all ages on topics ranging from financial literacy to college-level environmental science. For college students, Khan Academy can serve as a supplemental resource for difficult subjects or even a way to study an interesting topic without the commitment of adding another class to your schedule. Further, Khan Academy is still being updated – new courses and tools are frequent additions to the website.  

4. Quizlet 

Quizlet is an online resource where students can create study resources, such as flashcards, that are specific to their classes and the content covered by their professors. Alternately, Quizlet’s search feature provides students with access to study resources created by students all over the world who are taking or have taken similar courses. While paid subscriptions to Quizlet are available, many students can use the site’s free flashcard feature for multiple purposes, including homework help, studying for tests, and quizzing their friends.  

5. Online AI Tools 

In the past few years, websites like ChatGPT and elicit.org have gained popularity among students, Internet users, and fascinated researchers. These tools are based on “artificial intelligence,” or computer programs that can simulate the intelligence of a human being. Even certain online tools that are featured on this list, such as Quizlet and Grammarly, along with several search engines, have added AI features in recent years. The use of these tools can enhance students’ study and research experiences; however, they have commonly been used in dishonest academic practices. When used with integrity, respect, and diligence, however, the emerging technology utilized by these tools can serve as powerful academic support.  

6. Purdue OWL 

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is the student’s headquarters for academic writing and citation resources. The website offers comprehensive citation guides for styles such as APA, MLA, and Chicago-Turabian in their most up-to-date editions, providing students with a way to ensure that they avoid plagiarism in their assignments. It also contains writing guides for specific subjects, sample student papers correlating to each citation style, and additional advice on avoiding plagiarism.  

7. Slidesgo and SlidesCarnival 

It is almost a guarantee that every college student will, at some point in their education, be required to present a project that they have created. Whether it is an overview of a classroom method for your education class or a capstone presentation for a senior-level seminar, presentation templates created by sites like SlidesGo or SlidesCarnival can enhance the visual quality of the slideshow you need to put together. Templates are sorted into categories “business,” “infographics,” or “creative,” and students can choose whichever theme catches their eye and makes the most sense for the style of their slideshow.  

8. The Link Library website 

For Concordia students, this tool is a must-have. Not only is the Link Library website a place where students can determine the availability of e-books and print books that they may need for any class, but it is also a hub for research. From databases (all with free access for Concordia students) to class-specific “libguides,” Link Library has what students need for classroom success. These databases even allow students to gain access to thousands of scholarly, reliable papers and articles that can be used for research for in-class projects. The Link Library website can be a helpful resource for finding books listed in a class syllabus, locating books and articles that can be used for research, and even just reading for fun. 

9. Office Lens 

This tool is invaluable for students who need to turn in handwritten work online, or who want to clean out their desk drawer full of assignments, syllabi, and old papers. Office Lens is a mobile app that allows users to create PDF files from pictures of paper documents. PDFs are convenient files that many professors allow students to submit and are usually of a high visual quality. Plus, Office Lens lets users adjust the boundaries, brightness, and other attributes of their PDFs.  

10. Grammarly 

For students who compose papers, laboratory reports, or even social media posts for various organizations around campus, Grammarly serves as a free online proofreader. This tool can assist students with all the intricacies of the English language. Having proper grammar rounds out scholarly writing and makes it more appealing to readers, professors, and even on job applications. While Grammarly does offer paid subscriptions, the free version can help students with spelling, punctuation, and even word choices.  

The Internet is changing how we work, both student and professional alike. Its capabilities are limitless – and still growing. Whether you use the Internet for research, study, note-taking, or something else, these online tools are helpful no matter what classes in which you are enrolled. From the simple to the technologically complex, Internet tools used by students are here to stay – and they are here to enhance your academic career going into this new school year.  

Interested in studying at Concordia University, Nebraska? Learn more here