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Library Subject Guides

Learning Technology - Practical Guide

Student Tech Top Tips

Available resources to assist with students during their time at University.

Student TechTips

Students from across the University in different departments have shared their top tips when using technology to study.

This page summarises these tips so you can make the most of your University experience.

Top tech tips from other students

About the Distractiblees

The distractibles

An Interactive peer-learning session to support neurodivergent staff & students.

Best File Formats

Learn how different file formats can help you!

The Best File Formats tutorial is full of things you didn't know! Once you've learned these tips, you'll be using them all the time.

"So helpful!" says Dhavina

I found the tutorial very helpful and was interesting to see how we can adapt the documents provided to best fit our needs. I struggled with reading research papers a lot this year as there is a lot of text in a very compact format; the information on text-to-speech would be helpful for this. All the information provided was new to me. The 2 tables on page 4 about “Reading PDF documents” and “Reading EPUBs” were very helpful as they were straightforward and easy to navigate.


"Who knew?" says Salih

I have learned a lot about how technology may improve reading by examining the many reading tools, including ePUB, HeadingsMap, SwiftRead, ScreenShader, BeeLine Reader, and Immersive Reader. These tools have helped me explore complicated documents more effectively and have taught me the value of flexibility and accessibility in reading resources. Magnification and reflow features have reduced eye fatigue and improved reading comfort. Additionally, the ability to hear text read aloud has helped me focus better and adapted to my learning style. These encounters have finally strengthened my understanding of how technology may improve reading experiences and make them more flexible and accessible. Every day, I am learning more and more about accessibility and learning tools in the apps and interfaces I use daily. It's actually more than what I use it for.

I personally did not know much about the ePUB, I thought it was only for the Apple products, but it turns out it has a lot of functionality other than being an Apple supported document type. ePUB files bring numerous positive impacts to the reading experience. Their flexibility ensures easy access across devices, while features like navigation by headings save time in navigating through documents. The ability to magnify and reflow text reduces eye strain, and customizable background colors enhance user comfort. Most notably, the option to listen to the text with read aloud features makes ePUBs highly accessible. Learning to use this feature is a positive skill since ePUBs are compatible with Apple's Book app which makes it a lot easier for those who are using Apple as their main phone. In summary, ePUB's adaptability and user-friendly features make it a powerful format that significantly improves the reading experience.


Nathan's Top 3 Tech Tips

Nathan from the Department of Electronic Engineering shares his top tips:

Nathan's Top 3 Student Tech Tips [YouTube video]

Tips for sharing your screen

Anna from the Maths Skills Centre shares her tips for sharing what's on your screen - ok, we know she's not a student, but the tips are really useful!

How to magnify your screen

This could be useful to zoom in on part of your screen to take a screenshot, or to show to a tutor while maintaining social distance.

How to magnify your screen in Windows [YouTube video]

Zooming in on a Mac depends on your accessibility settings [Webpage]

How to take a screenshot

You can take a screenshot to create an image of what's on your screen - you can save this image or copy it into another document.

How to use the Snipping tool in Windows [YouTube video]

To take a screenshot on a Mac:

  • To save an image: press Cmd-Shift-4 and select the area to snip.
  • To copy to the clipboard: press Cmd-Ctrl-Shift-4 and select the area to snip.

Rhys & Natassja's notetaking tech tips

Rhys and Natassja from Economics tell us the tools they use to help with notetaking:

  • Rhys uses OneNote [Webpage] to let him make notes on lecture notes directly on his tablet.
  • Natassja uses Notability [Webpage] to write on handouts - either the PDF or taking a photo of paper handouts.
  • Natassja splits her screen so she can see lecture notes on the VLE and make notes at the same time.

Notetaking in lectures with a tablet [YouTube video]

Joe's Top 3 Tech Tips

Joe from the Department of Economics shares his top tips:

  • adding heading styles to your documents.
  • using Equatio to copy/paste equations
  • using Focus Booster [Webpage] to help concentrate and track where you're spending your time.

Video: Joe's Top 3 Student Tech Tips [YouTube video]

Find out more:

Read&Write - Rowan's top tips

Rowan from Biochemistry shows us their favourite features in Read&Write:

It helps you to pick up mistakes really easily and just makes it much easier to check your spelling, check your grammar, check your style, check your sentence length. The screen masking tool highlight lines that I’m reading; this is particularly useful at night when I might be a little bit more tired and need a little more help to pick out my lines. – Rowan

Read&Write - Rowan's top tips [5 min YouTube video]