Using the Cloud For Homework Assignments

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College life is no child’s play. During your college years, you have to (rather, are forced to) expand your multitasking skills to new levels, so that you not only manage more tasks a day can fit in but also do everything well enough; most importantly, your studies and your homework assignments. Feeling the stress already?

Take a deep breath and join us in this study management tactic made possible by some of the obvious tools that you use every day. These are a combination of internet and cloud, something that’ll really save you quite a bit of time and effort while elevating productivity. Here we go.

Reading From the Web

Reading the “web” itself tells you that it is not that straight-forward as it seems. Researching the internet for relevant information can be eye-burning and neck-wrenching.

My best practice, when there are pages and pages to be read online, is to resort to Mercury reader for Chrome. The app extension allows you to read any article in a clean text format, devoid of horrible fonts, colors or ads. You also get to read in night mode, send the text to your Kindle tablet and access all this with a keyboard shortcut (Alt + `). It works particularly well for ones like me who have eyesight problems.  

Note Making

Whenever you are going through piles of web pages to find those snippets of precious information, don’t just bookmark them in your browser. Copy the text/image/video and store them in Google Drive – the most convergent cloud platform.

My habit is to create Google Docs for whatever notes I have to make. One of its super useful features is that which allows making in-text comments, which helps me mark important references for understanding purposes, just what we used to do with those sticky paper notes stuck to pages in our books. Also, this helps me a great deal for when I have to revise the whole content. All the comments I have had made, quickly refresh the exact reference for me.  

Other added benefits of using Google Docs are cross-platform accessibility, safe backup of notes and savings in terms of printing & paper costs. The best thing is that Google Docs works very well in phone browser as well which doesn’t need you to download the bulky Google Docs app.

We cannot convert hand scribbled notes and textbook pages into digital text so easily. But we all have a plethora of these as well. So, for these, I use the CamScanner App, which has improved a lot over the years and lets you create a scan quality copy of anything on paper. Simply save the PDF files on Google Drive and you are good to go.

Compiling and Writing

Once done with research, it’s (oh God finally) time to compile your assignment. You would want to impress your teacher with a fine vocabulary and good grammar, hence take my suggestion for the online service called Grammarly. The service is a proofreading tool that picks out grammatical errors in your text and corrects them with suggestions. The paid version has vocabulary enhancement, genre-specific writing style checks, and plagiarism detection.

You will also need to talk about your assignment with a bunch of people. Here, Google Docs’ file collaboration feature will really shine bright. You can provide viewing or editing access to anyone who has a Google account so that you can make or get the necessary changes done, right on the cloud.

The last thing would be an instant messenger service that allows group conversations as Google Docs work chat feature isn’t that developed as of yet. Just share the file link on the messenger of your choice; then share and collect thoughts, all at once.  

Submitting the Assignment

In my life, 8 out of 10 times, I have forgotten the assignment’s hard copy back at home on the submission deadline day. Until recently, my teachers didn’t accept online submissions of the assignment but now (thanks to the cloud) they do, and it has saved me from deadline extension bickering as well as saved a good stack of paper sheets from being rendered useless after some time.

But if your teachers are not that tech savvy, and you are as forgetful as I am, you can always use Google Cloud Print to get yourself a hard copy of the assignment. Just request your university’s printer access and after that, it’s a no-time job to obtain it.

So this is how we can deal with homework assignments using the power of cloud and internet combined but I am definite that your brilliant minds would have more hacks for the same. I would love to add them to this article, just drop them in the comments or email me!