3 Must have Apps for VCE
In my previous career (ok, back in 2003-2008) I was a full time Classroom Music Teacher at a private school in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. One of my passions was always helping my Senior School students find websites and tools to help them study.
Resources for Year 11 and 12
Putting together wikispaces (great tool for educators) as a collaborative workspace, I set up Study2Learn http://study2learn.wikispaces.com/ to help students with different aspects of learning.
Another resource I came across, was VCE Help http://www.vcehelp.com.au/ that is a must for all Year 11 and 12 VCE Students.
It’s surprising there are very little online tech resources out there to help VCE students when searching on Google.
Here are my 3 Must have apps for VCE
Taking Notes with Evernote
Evernote is one of my favourite tools and I have been recommending Evernote for secondary students (as it’s free).
I would recommend downloading Evernote onto your smartphone, tablet and desktop computers.
Here are five ways I would use Evernote for VCE students:
- Set up notebooks for each subject that you are studying i.e. English, Maths Methods etc.
- Include a notebook for exam revision for Mid Year and Final exams.
- Download Evernote Web Clipper to your desktop so you can add resources/research to your Evernote notebooks.
- Use Scannable to scan documents and images into your Evernote notebooks such as handouts (also scan essays in so you can find them later on) or add the documents via attachments.
- Add voice recordings to your notes, text and images to make your revision easier at exam time.
Managing Homework with iStudiez Pro
Ever since the iPod Touch came out, iStudiez Pro has been one of the best apps for keeping track of your homework. It works on the premise of entering your homework into the app and then being able to have reminders set when your homework is due. There are several organisational apps that help you do this. Here are some great Android suggestions for homework planner tools.
Brainstorming tools with Bubbl.us
The best piece of advice I was ever given, was by a teacher in Year 10 (thanks Mrs Sheree Vertigan). She taught our class how to ‘brainstorm’ or ‘mindmap’. Up until then, nobody had worked out that I was a visual learner (have the ability to ‘scan’ music in my brain when playing/performing). I am not saying that brainstorming/mindmapping ideas is for everyone, but if you do think better in images or like drawing your ideas down, this is perfect for you.
I discovered Bubbl.us several years ago, and this brainstorming tool initially online is now available as a Chrome extension (Desktop) and is now also as a app on the iPad. You can still access it Bubbl.us via your web browser (on mobile devices).
5 Key steps to using Mindmaps/Brainstorming for revision:
- Set up your original topic (as the main thought bubble/shape)
- Brainstorm the ideas first – you will soon work out your best habits. I personally start in the middle and then work from the bottom left hand side anti-clockwise.
- Work out what shapes work for you (I don’t like using squares, but prefer cloud shapes or oval).
- Work out if you like your mindmap to be freeform (I call it ‘organised chaos’) or in a vertical structure.
- Export your image as a jpeg or PDF and save for future reference.
The best piece of advice I can give to Year 10, 11 and 12 students regardless of what state (or even country) is get organised as soon as you can. Find out what works for you and stick with it!
All the best for your school year in 2015.
Tech Coach HQ specialises in running workshops for both staff and Senior Secondary students to be more productive in their day, using tools that are often free and do make a difference!
Tech Coach HQ also runs Evernote workshops once a month in Melbourne at the York Butter Factory, Melbourne CBD.