Has remote learning introduced you to new challenges? I am busier than ever taking four hybrid classes from my on-campus apartment. Here are some technology resources I’ve discovered that might help you make the most out of the semester, whether you’re taking classes on a Fordham campus or at home.
Using and Creating PDFs
Scannable, a mobile app, converts images to PDFs. With remote learning, many professors request assignments be submitted on Blackboard. I use Scannable to take pictures of written work and convert these images into one PDF. When converting, it removes the background which makes writing more legible and merges all of the pages into one PDF file.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free software that allows you to annotate PDFs. You can highlight, add text notes, and create bookmarks directly on a document. This semester, many of my professors post readings as PDFs on Blackboard. Annotating with Acrobat keeps me focused and engaged in the reading. Whenever my professors scan readings in the wrong orientation, Acrobat Reader can rotate the document and reorder pages. Acrobat Reader is also great for reading textbooks. You can bookmark important pages and highlight key ideas.
Google Calendar comes with can be accessed from any device connected to your Gmail account. It’s a great way to manage busy schedules and keep track of remote classes. You can even color code events and create categorized calendars. My roommates and I are all taking online courses, so we share our Google Calendars with each other to make sure we are quiet when others are working or in class. I also like to use Google Calendar to manage club meetings because I can invite participants and put Zoom links to the meeting directly in the description section of an event.
To balance out academic stress, I embrace my creative side to decompress by playing around on Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. They’re both available for free for Fordham students via Apporto, Fordham’s virtual computer lab (to find these apps in Apporto, click on “GPU desktop”). In addition to Adobe Creative Suite, Apporto provides access to Python, MS Visual Studio, and Vectorworks.
Sometimes spending many hours on my computer in my residence hall feels monotonous, so I like to change up my study spaces. If you’re on campus, you can find study rooms at both the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses. The library is another study location, and you can even reserve rooms. I also like to sit on Eddy’s Parade or at the outdoor tables and chairs scattered around campus. It is now more important than ever to enjoy the nice weather before it starts to get too cold. When around campus, though, don’t forget to wear your mask and maintain social distancing!