Digital Tools for Students: Maximizing Learning on a Frugal Basis

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Learning today doesn't have to be expensive. But the reality is that many online sites offer free or low-cost courses. And it’s not even about the Internet. Actually, public libraries also have lots of resources. You will often find necessary information in a library, no matter how big it is. 

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In addition, some community groups teach skills for free. And you know better than anybody that for students, saving money is especially important. So, learning on a budget is smart and possible. 

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Academic Help for Students on a Budget

As you see, many tools help students in their journey of acquiring knowledge. They often turn to various resources, including online articles, e-books, and research papers. Alongside absorbing this vast amount of information, they must produce original content in their assignments and projects. But the thing is that inadvertent similarities to source materials sometimes creep in.

In such situations, using a free plagiarism checker is crucial. As an extra benefit, if you don't wish to deal with lengthy processes, a plagiarism checker without signing up is a great alternative. It allows them to ensure their work's authenticity quickly and efficiently, so why not use it?

How to Be Frugal When in College?

So, how do you save money in college? This problem actually requires both a strategic and proactive approach. Here's how to solve it.

Used Textbooks and Digital Options

Modern learning materials are really expensive, and that’s why purchasing brand-new textbooks can be quite costly in your pocket. What to do instead of this? Look for used books or even digital versions. If you check Amazon, you’ll notice that e-books often be more affordable. And as a bonus, they're also convenient to carry around on a tablet or e-reader.

Go to the Library

Today, not so many people go to the libraries. And there is nothing good about it. Actually, college libraries are stocked with academic resources, including:

  • textbooks
  • journals
  • research papers. 

So before buying any book, think twice and check if the library has a copy you can borrow. On top of that, libraries also provide digital access to scholarly articles, which is very useful for your studies. 

female student doing online stuff

Free Online Courses

Thanks to digitalization, there are numerous platforms that offer free courses on a wide range of topics. Of course, there is no chance that these might replace your college curriculum. But for sure, they help you a lot. They actually supplement your studies and provide additional insights into your learning.

Study Groups

Are you an extrovert rather than an introvert? Then, forming or joining study groups can be a cost-effective way to enhance learning for you. How does it work? Well, even sharing resources, notes, and textbooks among group members saves everyone money and promotes a frugal lifestyle. Moreover, it’s not only about money. Educators have noticed that collaborative learning aids in understanding complex topics.

Open Educational Resources or OERs

What are OERs? In short, these are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost. They include:

  • textbooks
  • lecture notes
  • full courses. 

But the question is, where to find them? Websites like OpenStax or the Merlot II database may be your solution. 

beautiful student using a laptop computer

Attend Workshops or Guest Lectures

Not everything is offered by colleges for money. Many of them host guest lectures, workshops, or seminars that are free for students. And they are of the highest quality. If you visit these events, you will get deep insights into specific subjects. Besides, they often expose students to real-world applications of their studies.

Take Advantage of Academic Advisors

Academic advisors are there to help you, no matter what you are struggling with. So, meeting regularly with them will help you plan your education courses effectively. Among everything, they can guide students to affordable resources. Plus, they have tons of valuable information, so why not ask them about financial aid and scholarship opportunities related to your major or field of study?

The Best Study Tools for a Frugal Budget 

If you are looking for resources and platforms with free or cost-effective solutions, you are in the right place. 

1. Note-taking

Evernote is a widely popular note-taking app that allows you to:

  • organize your notes
  • create to-do lists
  • save web pages. 

Ad, the basic version is free, so it must be a good fit for you. Also, Microsoft OneNote, as a part of the Microsoft Office suite, offers a dynamic canvas to type, draw, or clip notes from the web.

2. Time Management

Do you perceive visual information much better than written in a text? Then, Trello is a card-based system that is perfect for visual task management. What can you do with its help? You have the possibility to organize tasks into columns, set deadlines, and much more.

By the way, do you think that Google Calendar is only for scheduling? It’s not true. It has a feature for setting reminders for:

  • study times
  • assignment due dates
  • group study sessions.

And what about Todoist? This is another great solution. A to-do list application lets you prioritize tasks, set deadlines, and categorize tasks.

student sitting with crossed legs on the folder and a laptop on the lap with text: "Digital Tools for Students Maximizing Learning on a Frugal Basis"

3. Collaborative Projects

As mentioned above, collaboration brings you a lot of value. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are all fantastic tools for real-time collaborative work. With these apps, multiple users can edit a document, spreadsheet, or presentation simultaneously. Just imagine how much more efficient it can be compared to a traditional real-world collaboration. 

By the way, do you think that Slack is a tool for workplaces? Originally, it was. But it's now widely used by student groups for communication. Why? Simply because it allows for organized discussions in various channels.

And how do you share all the information you worked on? Use Dropbox for sharing and saving files collaboratively. And you don’t need to pay for it as you might think. Actually, the basic version provides a good amount of free storage. Don’t worry, it will be enough even for big projects related to your studies. But if not, there is always an opportunity to buy more storage. 

Final Thoughts

So, do you want to be a successful student even with a tight budget? It’s possible! Now, you know what to do and what tools to use for academic success. 

You can turn to open educational resources, study groups, online courses, and academic advisors. There are plenty of helpful options that will increase your learning productivity without spending any money. So why wait? Stop procrastinating and postponing changes in your life, because there is never a perfect moment to start. Except for now, of course. 

Hopefully, this article has given you enough motivation to follow the tips outlined here and reach your goals more efficiently without spending too much money. 

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