TechSavvy: Tech for the College Student

Amelia Hill
Online Editor and Multimedia Director

Let’s be honest with each other. We live in a technology-oriented society. There’s both a good and bad side to the fact, but let’s look at it from that positive perspective. Technology, if utilized correctly, can make you more efficient when busting out multimedia projects, communicating between colleagues  and even getting the information you need without spending hours upon hours at the local library. (I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever go to the library or bookstore and look at books, but it’s definitely not the most efficient way to gather information).

If utilized to it’s potential, and with some knowledge of design and marketing rules, technology allows you to make your work look professional. And with professional looking work, you’ve inadvertently made yourself a portfolio to show to a potential employer. Knock two birds with one stone; get an “A” and get a job.

As online editor and multimedia director of Crowder Sentry News Network, I manage everything that has to deal with technology and online communication: from designing our website to managing our social media accounts and producing multimedia content.

That said, I host a show on our network called TechSavvy where I’ll be broadcasting tutorials and keeping you updated with any technology-related news. Have any tech questions? Email me at or you can shoot me a tweet, by using @ameliabethhill.

So without further ado, here’s a few tech tips that should help you through those college assignments:

1. Get Student Discounts.

Tech can be expensive, and if you’re the average college student, you probably don’t have tons of money to spend. Amazon, Apple, and Adobe all have some form of student discounts. I’m sure there are other companies who give us a break—don’t be afraid to ask.

I love Right now, the company is doing a six-month free trial of Amazon Prime (a membership that let’s you get free two-day shipping). By signing up, you also get access to discounts of college supplies and textbooks. Just remember to cancel your membership in six months or you’ll be charged monthly for half-price Amazon Prime—still a really good deal.

Apple and Adobe have discounts ranging from $200 off a Mac or software, to $20 off accessories and merchandise. Not to mention, they usually include free shipping. And free shipping is a great way to save money for that spring break road trip to California.

2. Use Organizational Apps.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you might consider getting one. Being able to check your email from wherever you may be is super helpful, along with using a web browser to look up whatever answers you may need.

Smartphones are great for organization. Calendar and reminder apps are made everyday to fit your personality and lifestyle. Blackboard has an app, too, so rather than having to check your email or Blackboard itself every 30 minutes, it’ll just notify you when a new assignment is posted. Then, all you have to do is tell Siri to remind you to do the assignment when you’re home. Easy, huh?

3. Research Design Rules

Having knowledge of good design will make you stand out from the others in your classes. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. My dad’s a creative advertiser. I grew up in the industry for twenty years, learning the Apple, Adobe, and Google software. I created professional projects for school in second grade.

Buying a couple graphic design and multimedia books, or taking a few classes, will help you get that “A” to boost your GPA.

4. Use the Cloud.

Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and Evernote—they’re all great utilities, enabling you to store your files without having to carry around a USB drive (that will most likely get lost at some point this semester). Being stored in the internet, your files can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smartphone and shared with anyone you want. Using the cloud, is the best way to collaborate on a project without talking face to face with your colleagues.

We use Google Drive here at Crowder Sentry News to collaborate on stories, layouts, and multimedia segments.

And I use:

Dropbox when working for Dad on a project.

iCloud to sync my Macbook, iPad and iPhone together.

Evernote and Google Drive to store and create files for school.

5. Think Google!

Google has so much to offer—Gmail, Google+, Google Drive and Documents, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, Google Maps, and much, much more. And get this—everything is stored in the cloud.

Get your $%&* together with Google . . . I’m serious . . . Google is great!

That’s all I’ve got this time. TechSavvy premieres on the Crowder Sentry News Network at 11 a.m., Friday, September 6.

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@CS_News).