5 Productivity tools every teacher and student should have.

Dropbox:  This is my number one web resource for anyone let alone students and teachers.  If you use public computers, more than one computer, smart phones or just simply want to ensure everything is backed up safe and secure then Dropbox is your best friend.  Change a file on one device and it's updated within seconds on all the others.

Even if you are offline - Dropbox will work faultlessly then synchronize your life the second you reconnect to the web.

Essentially, if you use dropbox you don't need to carry a USB key or computer to be on top of your digital life.

Google Docs:  If you do not have access to Microsoft Office which is still the best productivity suite available hands down then Google Doc's is a very robust and free alternative.  Google Doc's will allow you to store spreadsheets and documents online and edit them directly from the browser.  Students can share their work and collaborate with peers in real time with Google Doc's.

Gmail:  Gmail is the keys to the internet kingdom, The best calendar, email and IM and chat solution on the web.  Totally free and will work seamlessly with your phone, laptop, tablet with a single hiccup.

FreeMind: Great mind mapping program, useful for brainstorming, outlining projects, and keeping notes.

Evernote:  If you are a student who attends loads of different classes and has plenty of things going on in your life then Evernote will keep all your notes, audio recordings and photos in a highly logical and organised manner, backed up to the cloud and will talk with any of your smart devices.  Kind of like Dropbox for note taking.


21 Brilliant Productivity Tools Every College Student Must Use

If you ask a college student about productivity, he won't have much to say. And you really can't blame him.

The same goes for students online courses. They lead a dynamic life where academics and fun go hand in hand, with the latter becoming a more important activity most of the times.

However, with the advent of internet and web 2.0, a college student now has access to so many amazing tools that he could finish up his work as well as enjoy life to the fullest without the guilt. The following list mentions 21 such tools which could skyrocket the productivity of college students when it comes to doing research, communicating with fellow students and dealing with assignments. Also, look into all the opportunities there are in online programs and courses.

Research and Taking Notes


Questia is an excellent online research tool which features a huge web based library of magazines, books, journals, papers, articles and much more. They claim that it is the largest online collection of complete books and journals, all of which is searchable word by word.

Although you need to pay about $19.95 per month for its membership, you could save on books and magazines you buy if you subscribe to it. And of course if you are prone to missing classes, this tool could cover up for it. It is available in 9 languages including English. Check out this article - 10 Cool Things About Questia

2.Free Book Notes

Free Book Notes, as the name suggests is a collection of free book notes, summaries, study guides and similar material aggregated from the internet. If you are an English Literature student, you would benefit the most from it. It has a huge repository of novel guides, plot overviews, context summaries etc of almost any book you could think of.


Wikipedia, internet's favorite encyclopedia is also a great research tool. Whether you are studying in high school or doing your PhD, you are sure to find things of your interest in this ocean of knowledge.

Although time and again, academicians have raised concerns over the authenticity of the content in Wikipedia and if it should be used by students as a study material, it remains a great tool for any college student who can't afford to pay for sites like Questia and needs to do his research online.


Now coming to online note-taking, lets talk about Notely. I'd say it's a superb tool especially for college students because they are the ones it focuses on. It is a seriously cool web productivity tool for students which combines note taking, to-do lists, calendar, file uploads, calculators and converters, dictionary and translator and much more in one single interface. Oh, and it works on the iPhone too.

Check this great video tour of the app if you aren't convinced yet.


Evernote is my personal favorite and probably the most popular note taking tool available. It offers all the versions - web based, desktop and mobile and syncs your notes between all the 3 mediums effortlessly. A great tool with some extraordinary features, something you would know only when you start using it.

6.Google Docs

Unless you are into hardcore maths and statistics, I'd assume you don't do complex tasks like creating macros in Microsoft excel. If that's the case then you should strongly consider switching most of your note creating and spreadsheet tasks to Google Docs.

Not only does it transfer your work to the cloud which can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet, it also has some great sharing and collaboration features which you could make use of.

7. Google Reader

Google Reader is a great productivity tool for just about anyone looking to find and read great content on the web and that includes college students. It is the best RSS reader available and lets you read content from your favorite sources without the need to individually visit each of them.


Noodletools provides some creative online and software tools for both teachers and students which can help them in researching, organizing and recording things. Their main tool which is called NoodleBib is a bibliography composer combined with note taking.



It's important that college students use Gmail as their email client. Gmail has got some amazing features which ensures that you are productive while handling your emails. Features like keyboard shortcuts, Gmail tasks and labs make it the ultimate email app.


Skype is a great communication tool, especially for college students as they are usually cash-strapped. It saves them money by reducing their cellphone usage and also saves them time because unlike with cellphone, using which you can talk anywhere and in any position (like while making food, lying on the bed), with skype you know you have to be in front of the computer and hence you'd avoid talking for prolonged intervals.

It also offers nice video conferencing and collaboration features.

Click here for the complete list.

Top 5 iPad apps for Educators

It would be remiss of me not to put together an obligatory iPad story that is loosely linked to education so here are some top iPad apps for educators who feel as though they need to do something work related on it after they have finished playing with all the fun stuff on it

Gizmodo's Essential iPad Apps

iWork Until Microsoft release office for the iPad iWork offers the MS Works equivalent of a productivity suite for the iPad. Pages, Numbers and Keynote make for a fairly impressive productivity suite for $30, or $10 each.


Gizmodo's Essential iPad Apps

The Elements: A Visual Exploration: Sounds a bit pricey for a periodic table, but the vividly animated illustrations of every substance our world is made of more than make up for it. $14

Gizmodo's Essential iPad Apps

Bento: Organize your Life

Mobile Air Mouse: Do you use an Interactive whiteboard and have wireless keyboards and mice floating around the place that either don’t work or you have to actually sit in front of a computer to type something on your IWB.  Download and install Mobile Air Mouse and you can use your  iPad to do everything on your IWB.   Now I sit with my students and run a lesson.  Media controls, Keyboard and Mouse.  My all time most used app at school on my iPhone.  Works through a wireless network and is pretty painless to set up.  Check out the video below.

DropBox:  I own a laptop, 2 desktop PC’s at home, have files on the network at school and now have some stuff on my iPhone and an iPad.   I was going crazy trying to keep track of it all.   Drop box allows you to sync everything without any hassle at all to every PC you use both locally and in the cloud and now best of all you can access all of your files through your iPhone.  Also you can create public folders for your students to access files from the web too.  It’s free - Absolute Gold

Pi83 Graphing Calculator A simple calculator isn't enough for most math students once they hit high school, so having a graphing calculator handy is always welcome. And since Pi83 Graphing Calculator, which mimics Texas Instruments' Ti-83 graphing calculator, costs just 99 cents.  Never be outsmarted by your students again.

WorldBook – This Day in History. This interactive calendar is powered by World Book Encyclopedia and features historical information for each day of the year.  Struggling for a lesson idea today or just need to fill in 10 minutes with some great facts from history.

Cram Cram is designed specifically to help students study for a big test. The app allows them to create multiple-choice quizzes and study guides with a flash-card-like system. The app even randomizes the answers to ensure students aren't memorizing a particular option.  Best of all for teachers it has a massive bank of online tests you can access and administer.  Don’t sit up all night planning or correcting a test again.

History: Maps of the World One of the most important tools any student can use is a historical map of the world to help them in both geography and history classes. That's where History: Maps of the World comes in.

After downloading the free app, users can view maps of all the continents at different points throughout history. The app features up-to-date maps showing current boundaries. But where it provides the most value is in its historical maps, which display boundaries and important places from periods throughout history. It's a great way to help students increase their effectiveness in geography and history class and a great discussion point in geography lessons.

Flash-Me - This educational iPhone App lets you use Cramberry (the amazing online flashcard maker) on your iPad. With Flash-Me, you can create, edit and study your flash cards on your iPhone.  These can be later shared with students in class.

Mathematical Formulas Mathematical Formulas is a must-see app for any math student. It not only helps users gain access to hard-to-remember formulas quickly, but it might also prove to be a handy studying tool.

Like me if you are not Rainman and your students hit you with something from left field in maths this is a great tool to get you out of what can be an embarrassing spot.

Anyhow I know some these are iPhone apps but I am sure that by next week there will be another thousand useful and useless apps that will take their place.  Enjoy your playtime over Easter with your iPad and let me know what you have found useful.