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The Digital Student: 8 Ways Social Networks can make you a Better Student

Learning with social networks

Online social networks provide a whole range of tools to help you learn, share resources and connect with other students. This can be useful as university level study has an ever increasing focus on communal learning. Use social netorking to:

Collaborate

collaborate

Socialise

Socialise

Learn

Learn

Social networking tools for learning

Podcasts/Vodcasts

Podcasts and vodcasts are episodic programs distributed over the internet. Podcasts are audio based (music or talk) programs and vodcasts are video based programs. The 'cast' part of the term refers to the ability of a user to subscribe to future episodes and download them when available. There are thousands of Podcasts and Vodcasts available and they can be music, talk or a mixture of both. There are a lot of podcasts and vodcasts that focus on academic topics, we recommed checking out:


Calendars/organisation

Cloud based calendars and organisational tools are brilliant for group projects. They allow you to share events, deadlines, files and notes with other people in your group. Check out our pages on working in the cloud for more information.


Twitter (micro-blogging)

Twitter can be a powerful communication tool in higher education as many universities, researchers and academics are starting to engage with Twitter. Twitter can be a good place to have informal conversations about any subject you are studying - or about studying in general. Twitter has the added advantage that the 140 character limit ensures discussions are concise. It is useful to check if your lecturer is on Twitter for those quick queries.

University Twitter Accounts

It is a good idea to join the university's social networks as it will keep you informed of what is happening on campus. Here are our favourites:

@UniOfHull - Our official Twitter feed featuring the latest news and events from the University of Hull

@HullUni_Library - News, events, training, information, new resources and alerts from the Brynmor Jones Library, at The University of Hull

@HullStudent - The official Hull University Union feed

@HullUni_ICT - News, help and info from the University of Hull ICT Service Desk.

@HullUniFoodie - News, offers and competitions from our six fabulous eateries on the University of Hull campus.

If you currently use Twitter, then why not start using it for learning too? If you are new to Twitter, check out this handy "Getting started with Twitter" Guide or the Story of a Tweet


Webfeeds (RSS/ATOM)

Webfeeds such as ATOM and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) are formats for the delivery of regularly updated internet content. Many news and blog sites provide RSS feeds to help their users stay informed of new content and a number of free webfeed readers are available to allow you access to these feeds. If you want to follow the content on a website, simply add their feed to your reader. Webfeed readers allow you to browse updates from multiple feeds, saving the time required to check multiple individual sites separately.

Check your phone's App Store for compatible readers or try RSSOwl for Windows and Mac (It supports RSS, RDF and ATOM)


Learning - Videos

There are 100,000s of videos freely available online to watch. While these videos cover a whole range of topics, there are some very useful explanations of academic concepts. If you are struggling to understand something, you may be able to find useful explanations on the following websites:
YouTube

Vimeo
TED Ed
iTunesU

Most of these services allow you to interact, comment and ask questions. If you are knowledgeable about something - you could create your own video too!

The use of these video sites for your studies is not limited to their use in covering academic topics. You can also find tutorials for a range of skills including software like the Microsoft Office Suite, EndNote and RefWorks. These videos can be a good starting point for beginners or can help advanced users leverage complicated functions within the software suites.


Sharing (cloud/photos/presentations)

Check out our page on cloud applications and storage to see how you can use the web to share files with other students and between your own devices.


Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual social network that allows users to create photographic pinboards. As it is a purely visual media, Pinterest works well as a source of inspiration. You can find lots of different study tips on Pinterest presented in a visual format. Check out our favourite searches:

Search for Revision Tips

Revision on Pinterest

Search for Study Tips

Study Tips on Pinterest

Collaborative editing

If you need to complete group work with other students but are not able to get together, there are lots of tools that can enable you to collaborate.

Google Docs allow you to simultaneously edit a single file at the same time as other users. You can also annotate and comment on the document which is useful for peer review. These tools can also be useful if you are in the same room but need to edit something at the same time.

See more tips like this in the cloud section of this website.

 

Other useful pages: