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Study Smarter with Technology: Useful Tools

Most of the tools below are available on Student PCs at the university. Students are also able to download Office 365 including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel to home pcs/tablets/laptops. Some software does not appear on all the student PCs but is freely available for downloading from the Software centre. Some general tips for using this page:

 

Description

Tool

Guide

Availability

Text to speech and screen reading:

For when you prefer to listen to your reading.

MS Speak: reads out Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and OneNote

On student PC

Read Out Loud: reads out PDF documents

On student PC

 Free download

ClaroRead Chrome Extension: reads back text on a Google Chrome web page and in Google Docs.

  Free download

Text to Speech Apps: your phone can read text to you

Phone apps

 

Voice recognition:

Why type when you can dictate instead?

MS Dictate: available on the Online versions of Microsoft Outlook, Word and PowerPoint and converts speech to text.

  On student PC

Ask Google Assistant: use voice to send messages, search, set reminders etc

Phone apps

Siri: assistant on iPhones to send messages, set reminders etc

Phone apps

Reading:

Read quicker and easier

MS Learning Tools (PC) and Immersive Reader (Online): Simplifies the screen to make reading easier. Shows syllables, parts of speech and other comprehension tools.

 On student PC

Edge: a browser that includes features to help you read the web more easily

On student PC

Spreed: speed read one word at a time

Free online tool

Writing:

Tools to check grammar, speed up your typing, write clearly or use predictive text.

MS Word: use automatic headings, contents lists, auto-correct and keyboard shortcuts to make Word work for you

On student PC

MS Powerpoint: Present images and ideas effectively On student PC

Hemmingway: highlights text that's hard to read and suggests alternatives.

Free online tool

Grammarly: checks spelling and grammar as you write and suggests improvements

 Free download

Phone app

Video and audio:

When you want to record audio instead of writing or typing

When you want to read captions from video instead of listening

Voice Recorder app: records your voice and other speakers nearby

App available on most smartphone devices. Look for:

  • Windows Phone = Voice Recorder
  • Android = Voice Recorder
  • iPhone = Voice Memos

Phone app

YouTube: making captions visible

Free online tool

Planning, mind mapping, notes:

When you want to get organised

MS OneNote: Create and synch notes, to-do lists and drawings. 

On student PC

MindMup: mindmapping app that integrates with Google Docs

Free online tool

MindGenius: create mind maps

On student PC

Collaborate and meet:

When you want to work with others at the University.

MS OneDrive: Share and work together on documents

On student PC

MS Teams: work together, share documents, chat and web-conference

On student PC