Here is a bit of an off-beat post to outline the components that I am so thankful for and could not imagine doing my studying / researching / learning without. First up its the underpinning element:
This is the framework on which I do 90% of my work (the other 10% is my learning journal which is a blue lined book, nothing special.) I have been involved in the IT industry for a while and without (hopefully) sounding like a bit of a bandwagon tag-along, Mac OS X has really facilitated the work I have produced so far with its simplistic file management, redundancy and time machine.
I suppose the enclosure for the previous (and all to follow) would be my fantastic laptop the MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 15″ The best laptop I have ever had. It keeps on surprising me with most things, could not recommend a brand/model as much as this!
This little gem would have to be the secondary framework. Doing a research / distance learning degree would be rather difficult without web access and Firefox allows me to access all I need to on the web with the ability to support plugins such as Zotero.
The common room / lecture theatre / tutorial space and everything else, FirstClass is the University. It brings the Cohort together to engage in a communal learning environment and also allows students to connect with other cohorts, past and present.
Another Apple product now, still not a fan-boy, iWork 09. I have only been using it really in Semester 2, really to try it out. I have had all versions previous to 09 (through site license) but never really ran with it. 09 has really been a saviour for me, alleviating the need for buggy, slow, putrid Office:mac 2008 that I am only using for my reference page for each module as it has interoperability with Zotero, a feature iWork has yet to support.
Oh, now my favourite, Spotify is a service like iTunes that provides all music in its database (around 2-3 million) for free, streaming and instant. See my previous post to see the love!
I suppose this would be another component of the mix. Zotero is a FANTASTIC premise, but not fully developed in my opinion, head over to their website to read all about it and see how it can help you.
Oh come on, not everything is good with hiher education, this is how the descrepancies are dealt with!
What could you not do without???