If you search the Internet for study tips, you will certainly find a lot of results. One thing that you will notice about many of those results is that they largely focus on technology-based solutions. Students are given a wide variety of apps, tools, and websites that they can use to keep themselves organized and focused, and that can help them to understand concepts better. These are great suggestions for people who love technology and constant connectivity, but what about those who don’t? Thus far, they seem to have been ignored, at least until now.
If you are technology resistant, but still want to improve your study methods, here are 9 tips for you.
1. Go Old School With SQ3R
This method of studying has been around for decades, yet many students aren’t aware of it. SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. Here’s how it works:
- Survey: Skim the material to be read. Read the titles, headings and subheadings. Review items that have been bulleted or put into numbered lists.
- Question: Write down a list of questions you believe should be answered in the content you will be reading. If questions are provided, e.g., end-of-chapter review questions, use those.
- Read: Read the material and take notes.
- Recite: Read your notes out loud.
- Review: Go over your notes until you have everything down pat.
2. Use a Distraction-Free Text Editor
If you avoid technology because it tends to be full of ‘noise’ and distractions, you may want to consider replacing your standard word processor with a distraction free text editor. These provide you with an environment in which you can simply type your notes or homework without being bothered by the intrusive elements in other writing apps. Even technology lovers use these because they find it is easier to be more focused and creative.
3. Color Code Your Notes
If you use different colors when taking notes, you will have a much easier time when you actually want to use those notes for studying. There are many options for doing this. For example, you could use one color for facts and figures to be memorized, one to highlight what will be on an upcoming test, and another for actions to take. One of the most frequently missed points for successful writing is to have distinctive, well-written notes, and color coding can help with this.
4. Read Your Notes Into a Voice Recorder
A good study session should involve as many of the senses as possible, and you should be as actively involved as possible. Reading and writing are important, but there is more that you can do. If you read your notes into a voice recorder, you give yourself an auditory study option, not simply a visual one.
5. Find Out The Study/Note Taking App Your Peers Are Using and Learn The Basics
Yes, you prefer to avoid technology and that’s fine. However, you cannot be so resistant that it works to your detriment. Let’s face it, you will work on group projects, and that will probably require that you and your peers use some type of software for note-taking, communicating, and collaborating. The best way to deal with this is to simply accept it, and then choose the app that seems to be most popular among those around you. Then, take some time to learn the basic functionality, so that you aren’t too far behind everybody else.
6. Join a Study Group
What better way to have a stimulating, interactive study experience than joining a study group? Just because you aren’t a tech person doesn’t mean you should be stuck in your room hitting the books. If you join a study group, you will learn so much more through discussions and listening to others’ perspectives than you will by yourself.
7. Watch The Movie
If you are having difficulty understanding something or are struggling with boredom, try to find a movie on that subject. It could make it more interesting, easier to understand, and more meaningful. Just be sure it is factually accurate and not a fictionalized account. You can also find podcasts and presentations on topics that you are studying and watch or listen to those. You never know where you might find an explanation of something that really clicks with you.
8. Create a Study Schedule and Stick With It
Don’t make the mistake of planning to study whenever you have the time. Instead, designate specific periods of time in your weekly schedule for studying, and working on projects and assignments. Once you do that, you will be able to turn regular study into a habit.
9. Get Out of a Study Rut by Changing Your Location
Here are some great things about studying without technology:
- You don’t need Wi-Fi
- You don’t need to be plugged in
- There are no batteries to recharge
- Pens, pencils, and notebooks are very portable
You can take advantage of all of this, plus keep yourself alert and focused by changing your location. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend several hours reading in the park on a nice day without lugging around your laptop?
Clearly, there are many study tips that work well for people who aren’t really interested in technology. There are also a few ways to use technology to study in ways that aren’t too complex or intrusive.
Hopefully, you will find these study tips useful, but will also be open-minded enough to try out an e-Learning class or educational app every once in a while.
Do you have any successful offline studying tips to share? We’re waiting for your comments!
Julie Ellis – educator and social media expert from Miami, FL. As Seth Godin states, “The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing”.