Teena has passed on advice about the EasyBib app for students that find it incredibly difficult or time consuming to provide a reference for written assignments. This free and useful iPad,iPod and iPhone 4 app is available through iTunes or as an Android app from Google Play. It will do most of the hard work for you but we have found issues using certain devices – anything post iPad3 seems to work well.
Hover over the ISBN number of a book with a steady hand. The app will automatically scan the barcode, and providing you are connected to Wifi, will generate a bibliography reference for you. Three styles are available including Chicago, APA (Harvard) & MLA.
Once your reference has been generated, email it to yourself (singularly or in a group) with other references.
AudioNote is a fantastic note taking app. The official description from the app store tells you how you can synchronise notes and audio with each key point being linked to the moment when the lecturer talks about that subject. Because it works on a tablet or phone there is no need to wait for the laptop to boot up.
Bookmarks can be created throughout the audio recording to highlight important points for easy referencing. It allows you to take pictures and insert them into your notes and AudioNotes can be exported to Evernote, saved and organised there. A yellow background can be used instead of white for those with visual stress/sensitivity. It costs £2.99 and is available from the iTunes store.
“I don’t like pens and papers! Too much waste and extra cost. I’ve been using my iPad with a stylus and several note taking/drawing apps so far. I synchronise all my notes with iCloud (it was iWorld before Apple introduced iCloud) and I’m perfectly happy – so is my room as it doesn’t have stacks of paper and pens around :>)” Trinity – computer scientist
“In order to organise my courseware I use an online tool called Evernote. This helps me to ‘clip’ useful information from websites and also to save some reminders. The app can be used online as a web app and also installed as a Chrome browser bookmark or Android and iPhone mobile or tablet app. The offline app can then sync to your profile.” Andreas (MSc Web Science)
“I found it useful when revisiting lectures notes for exams to use Adobe Reader. It can remember the last view of a document and when I re-opened it I am able to start revising from where I left off without having to look for items or remember the particular slide or page again.”
To check you have set up the settings for this to happen
Go to Edit > Preferences.
Check the box marked, Restore last view settings when reopening documents.
The same is possible if you are using Foxit Reader Just select Edit > Preferences > General, and then enable Restore last view settings when reopening.
“I like the way on the iPad the dictionaries are available from different apps but I also use the free Dictionary.com and Thesaurus app as it works offline and gives me the pronunciation of words.” Andreas
There are advertisements supporting the free version of the app. These disappear if you pay £2.99 for the ad free version of the Dictionary. The iPad version also appears to work on an iPhone OS 6 as can be seen in the image and you can say the word using speech recognition.
“I use Wikipedia before starting to write any reports or essays in order to have a broad idea that may relate to a specific topic. Then I start to look for references, websites, journals and conference papers.”
But as is commented on the page that we have linked to on Wikipedia “Do your research properly and wisely. Remember that any encyclopaedia is a starting point for research, not an ending point.” However, Wikipedia often provides references at the bottom of the topic page and can lead to other more academic resources and it even offers advice as to how Wikipedia should be used for researche
“I like the iPhone’s dictionary – if you don’t know the meaning of a word on a website you just have to tap on it to get its meaning. So simple and easy.” Anibul
The dictionary was added for iOS 5 and it is important to just tap and hold on a single word to see the ‘Define‘ menu appear beside ‘Copy, Select All and Speak’. It does not work in all applications. In messages the complete message is highlighted on tap and hold but you can use Copy and use Speak.
“When you watch videos that are not in your first language – if there are subtitles turn these into your chosen language to help explain the content.”
YouTube has closed captioning or subtitles on some videos and the video called “How to extract YouTube Subtitles (Interactive Transcript) in 2 minutes [HD]” illustrates some of the difficulties that occur with automatic captioning – A Frenchman speaking in English and when you view the subtitles by selecting the small list icon on the bottom right of the video player you will see that some of the words do not match what has been said but you can also translate the words into your chosen language. The results will be variable! In this video you will see how you can take the transcript and improve the results.
“I use Google Scholar to search for materials and useful information for my studies and find this can lead to reading other papers as a result of the links to similar articles. It also helps when you want to cite a paper as it gives you the layout for the citation.” Katherine