THE BLOG

Apps and Resources in Higher Education - Selecting the Right Tools to Use

23/09/2013 10:27 BST | Updated 19/11/2013 10:12 GMT

As our information and communication technologies evolve, they redefine the ways we learn. Not only have the technological tools of the 21st century transformed the content of our educational landscape, but they have also sparked a revision in the actual processes through which we think and solve problems. With the proliferation of digital devices and the spread of the Internet, for example, memorization has become increasingly anachronistic. Intellectual life, it seems, is less dependent today on knowing than on the ability to efficiently analyze information, so digital tools are now more important than ever. In an environment oversaturated with information and overwhelmed by media, the most successful students are those who can find and implement the day's best digital tools.

A University Finder App

If you are looking for a useful university decision making app, The Telegraph recently released a Uni Finder App. Available on both Android and iOS, it is an invaluable tool for prospective students trying to determine the best path for their academic futures. For many, the transition from A and AS level education into university life is a difficult and confusing time, but it is also an important formative stage in intellectual development. After all, the courses we choose to study ultimately impact the trajectory of our professional and personal lives, they define the careers we dedicate our lives to and the lifestyles we build around them.

Unfortunately, however, as our educational options multiply and become increasingly diverse, it is harder than ever to decide which university course to pursue. With so many options, the prospect of choosing just one is daunting. To address this issue and improve the already substantial body of resources, apps are developed to speed up the process and be more information. The Uni Finder App is a good example in that its accessible and user-friendly interface streamlines the difficult process of researching universities, while the app itself makes hunting for courses more convenient and mobile than ever before.

With a comprehensive database of universities throughout the UK, Uni Finder facilitates course comparison on a number of important factors. Perhaps most significantly, it provides lists of the UCAS point requirements at various institutions--saving students hours of hunting on university websites. It also offers reviews from current students and alumni in order to give prospective students a more intimate and realistic picture of what they can expect from academic and social life on campus. Uni Finder's up-to-date content also outlines currently available course offerings, open day dates, and course-dependent job opportunities for each of the academic institutions in its extensive catalogue. It also features a convenient search function to help students focus in on the particular facts that interest them most, and compare schools based upon the academic distinctions most relevant to the particular courses they hope to pursue.

Of course, as one of the UK's most important media outlets, The Telegraph also designed the Uni Finder to compile the latest education news from around the world. So while students get important information about the universities they are interested in, they can also monitor the academic landscape as a whole and read about recent developments in our nation's school system.

It is great to see these educational app developments advancing and I personally feel more should be developed, as this is what the youngsters of today relate to rather than watching the news on TV.

Creative Resources That Help In Higher Education

As well as app development, students have the privilege of being connected to and sharing many resource tools worldwide. Students considering higher education have the tough task of conducting university research, working out UCAS points and debating on international studies but social media has enabled students to share tools to make these tasks much easier to handle and widen communities.

When I look around the web, not many of the tools or calculators to work out UCAS points appeal to me however I did find one that drew out to me straight away and again it's the Telegraph that have caught my attention. The Telegraph UCAS Points Calculator quickly calculates UCAS points from students A/AS Level grades. It provides prospective students with university courses they could qualify for with the points they have. And while there are a few UCAS calculators available on the web today that do this, the reason I like the Telegraph one is because it offers a unique feature; it suggests courses that best suit the qualifications of each student through a sensible or random option. If you are feeling brave enough, click the random button and you may find out with 220 UCAS points that you could study a foundation degree in Mortuary Science!

When it comes to choosing the right university or course for academic futures, students need all the help they can get. So the more knowledge they can gather, the easier and more informed their choice will ultimately be. Clearly, having the right tools makes all the difference as it makes course hunting easier than ever; invaluable tools for the next generation of academics.

And for all the kids in education, we have many tools and resources for you too. Earlier this year we brought you a list of the 20 must-use education technology tools - don't forget to use these while you work your way up to higher education.