Leading a hectic student lifestyle makes it difficult to remember what needs to be done and when. Getting things done and being productive requires careful planning and organisation. In order to assist me as a student, I am using web 2.0 tools to enhance my productivity and decrease the time allocated to completing tasks.
Web 2.0 is comprised of a set of tools that allow people to utilise the Web to build social and business connections, share information, and collaborate on projects. These tools include WIKIPEDIA, BLOG, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and LinkedIn. Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon research fellow at the Oll, has illustrated the power of social networking as recently used by the Occupy movement to harness support and numbers at the Cairo’s Tahrir Square protests.
Whilst my use of web 2.0 applications is insignificant in comparison with members of the Occupy movement at the Tahrir Square protests, I utilise web 2.0 applications on a daily basis to share information, connect with others and optimise my productivity.
My experience of using these tools are as follows:
TWITTER is used to share resources, ideas and experiences with other students and tutors by posting links for weekly activities and blogs, encouraging other students to comment on my blog, and leaving comments on other student’s blogs. I find twitter addictive, as it is easy to follow, keeps you up to date with current issues, keeps me informed about other people’s opinions and the message function is short and concise. I think this is why my best friend always refers to me as a ‘Twitter bug”.
Smartsheet is a web 2.0-based project management and crowdsourcing applications that allows users to comprehensively involve contributors through a publicly accessible and secure environment. What I like about Smartsheet is that I can access my documents from almost any computer with an internet connection, regardless of what operating system is in use. I used Smartsheet for the first time last semester to compile a Gantt chart that was required for a university assignment. I signed up via my Gmail account, chose the template and within 20 minutes I created a Gantt Chart to illustrate the group assignment schedule and shared this file with my team members.
Dropbox allows me to back up my files to the cloud, synchronise them between computers, and share them with my friends and other students. I also use dropbox to print documents to my home printer from any computer by having a script running on my home computer that monitors a dropbox folder for incoming documents and prints them. This is a great application for increasing productivity due to the amount of time saved.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKING – del.icio.us is a social bookmarking application that organises and shares bookmarks. I love this idea and I think I’m going to start using it, as del.icio.us allows you to share bookmarks across many computers; tag bookmarks; search for bookmarks; permits subscriptions to other people’s bookmarks; and most importantly allows external back-up of bookmarks.
Podcasting is used to share audio and video files on the internet that can either be listened to or viewed on a PC or downloaded onto an audiovisual device. I know it sounds cliché, but I believe a picture tells a thousand words and that’s why I have used YouTube to assist me with studying programming languages when I first started studying C# and PHP. The programming languages in their written form I found difficult to understand and the use of audio and imagery really helped to consolidate my knowledge and understanding of these subjects.
Google Calendar is a really simple but effective tool I use for keeping track of my assessment schedule at university as well as taking care of my financial affairs and ensuring that my bills are paid by the due date. I love the default notification feature that reminds me of an upcoming important event.