Best uses of Laptops for Exams
Using a laptop for studying and exams can have a lot of different advantages, such as faster writing; leading to more detailed and efficient note-taking, easier organisation, and easier editing. Laptops in class can also foster better collaboration with other students inside and outside the classroom. It encourages sharing information and better collaboration on group projects. A computer can also help with keeping students engaged, as it can be vital in maintaining a child’s interest in classroom topics.
Advantages to revision on a laptop are; better access and organisation of notes, easier editing, access to online study guides, and instant communication with other students if having difficulties. Students can use Google Docs or Microsoft Word docs to type up their notes and later use the search key to find specific dates and words in order to make revision easier. Both Microsoft Word and Google Docs allow students to create as many documents as they want without the fear of losing any information. All of these things can also be helpful with the student’s confidence, as it encourages them to write their own notes and to do independent research on the topics.
They can be a great help to anyone who misses school i.e. sickness. Laptops give students access to online resources such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, and other video messaging sites, that allow them to join a class from the comfort of home, or wherever they might need to be. Zoom is incredibly handy nowadays with isolation and illness and can help keep students on track with their education. It also allows for easier access to one-on-one tutoring or even group tutoring as you can join a zoom from anywhere.
Laptops also give you access to other sites, such as YouTube, where you can look up informational videos, lessons, and study guides. YouTube is great and has some very educational videos, such as the crash course videos. As it can be a worry that students will be distracted by other videos while in school, YouTube has the option to download videos so that the videos saved can be monitored and watched offline for educational purposes. This is also helpful as videos containing very important information can be saved in case the original content poster decides to delete the video from the app. YouTube can also be a great way to access documentaries for free.
Music is another good study aid, which can be accessed for free on YouTube. Studies have shown that music actives both sides of the brain at the same time and this activation can help to maximise learning and improves memory. This can differ from student to student as sensory issues can come into play, but music can be a good way to focus, block out surrounding distractions and make tasks more fun and engaging to do. Music also stimulates and engages your brain which can modify the moods of those studying and leave them in a better position to concentrate. Music also provides a rhythm to work too that keeps you alert and on track. It can also be a good way to time how long something is taken or how long until a break.
Using technology for studying can also be a big help to those who are dyslexic. Technology can make this easier on them. Notes can be more easily written, and they can be re-read using the text to speech option. Another use for the text to speech option is for better pronunciation during the Oral exams, so you can use this function to help your phrasing and sentence structure. Audio recordings on apps such as voice memo and audacity can also help with learning and studying for the Orals, as students can record their own voices saying their pre-prepared answers and re-listen to it over and over again as practice as this is useful for retaining a language. Some students also find it helpful to record information and listen to it while they are sleeping as they believe it helps them retain the information better. Laptops can be a great way to store notes. After notes have been written you can use different sites it saves them such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc. You can also add an external drive to save the documents onto it well so you can safely back your data up.
Some helpful sites:
- Google Drive
- Khan Academy
- Study Clicks
- Spark Notes
- Quizlet / Flashcard caps
- Forest / Todoist/ Tomato Timer, etc.
Some of these apps transcend to the mobile.
Minimum Laptop Requirements:
It is recommended that when getting a laptop to use for these purposes you should follow the minimum laptop requirement of having a 500 GB Solid-state hard drive and 8 GB of Ram, as a normal spin drive laptop might be too slow to process what you need. To be efficient with notetaking, your laptop needs to be up to sufficient standards. It is also recommended for your laptop but nothing less than Windows 10, though the preferred update would be windows 11.
How to best protect your laptop:
You can protect your laptop in lots of different ways but getting antivirus software is a great start. You can access some of these for free online. Backing up your computer onto a flash drive and keeping it regularly updated is another way to keep your laptop safe. Never click a link on an email from a sender you don’t know. You can also download pop-up blockers and add-blockers to allow you to set your own security measures. Google itself is also very good at filtering out bad websites; if you search the site and it does not come up then the site is potentially unsafe.
Why Touch typing?
Touch typing is a huge benefit to a student who is dyslexic. Touch typing can greatly improve predictability. It is a way to type faster and more accurately, without having to constantly look at the keyboard. Here at Searsol we have lots of camps and course centers for your child to learn this skill, as it is encouraged to learn during childhood as it can have an effect of the Lord of the Rings. A recommendation from Searsol is to try to get up to 25 words per minute (really good typing speed for exams for students with laptop extensions). Searsol offers typing courses to help you with this. A free trial assessment at any of our course centers can be booked at https://searsol.com/