Clued up! Online skills for the 21st Century student


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digital icon   Digital Study Skills

Manage your studies online
Smarter Searching
Make Referencing easy
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Using this site

The middle section of each page introduces the topic and contains videos and slideshows, both from our students here at London Met and from around the web, designed to get you thinking...

In the right-hand column you'll find Practical Steps you can take and further reading and advice which you might find useful in Read more about it.

Learn more:
The eight links above cover all the aspects of this website. Please bookmark and revisit the site, as we are constantly adding new materials and information.


What does it mean to be a 21st century student?

Being well-organised as a student used to mean keeping your notes nice and tidy in a ring-binder, using coloured post-it notes and highlighter pens and having neat handwriting. Things have changed a bit since those days, and luckily we have the internet and mobile phones to help us be more organised.

Unfortunately, there are also a lot more distractions. Even so, there are a huge number of digital tools and services which can make your life as a student easier. Maybe you already know and use some of them, but there’s bound to be something new for you in our collection of resources looking at how to keep track of your online content, store your files in the cloud and manage your favourite online places across all your devices….

Diigo Evernote Drop Box Mendely Blackboard Pinterest



In this video some London Metropolitan students talk about their the way they manage their studies online and across their devices.


How can I study and learn more effectively with technology?

The sheer quantity and variety of apps and websites out there can be overwhelming. While some of them have been designed specifically for education, many others were developed for a different purpose but can still be really useful for learning and studying.

Becoming a more digitally literate student doesn't mean that you have to know every single app or web service that is out there. The key is to think about what these technologies can do for you and then to choose one or two that can fulfil that function and get to know how they work and how they can help you. For example, one thing which can really help you as a student is 'social bookmarking'. It allows you to collect, annotate and share useful websites and have them accessible to you online on any computer or device you are using. Examples of social bookmarking sites are Delicious, Diigo, Pinterest (image-based) and many others. It doesn't really matter which of these you use, as long as it enables you to manage your web browsing more effectively.

Another very useful thing to understand is ‘cloud storage’. You may have heard of Dropbox, Box or Google Drive. All of these allow you to save files and documents 'in the cloud’. In other words, you can access and edit them wherever you are and don't have to worry about carrying a USB stick around or emailing stuff to yourself. Again, which of these you use doesn't really matter - the important thing is to be able to manage your documents more efficiently.

Practical Steps you can take

· Decide on one clear and consistent method for bookmarking web links and useful sites related to your studies. e.g. Diigo, Delicious, Evernote. Spend a little time learning how to use one of these and it will save you lots of time in the long run.

· Watch this easy to follow tutorial about the social bookmarking site Diigo and set up your own account.

· Learn more about Dropbox and set up an account.

· Make sure you understand how to save and manage your electronic sources of information - e.g. journal articles and also how to automatically generate references and bibliographies. See Make Referencing Easy for more on using reference managers.

· As a London Met student you have a Google account and a Google email address. There are some useful features which are free for you to use such as Google Drive, Tasks and Google Calendar - it's worth familiarising yourself with these as they can be powerful study aids.


Read more about it

The University of Leeds has some excellent advice to help you become a more effective user of technology as a student. Visiting their Learning in a Digital Age pages is time well spent.

For a more detailed description of Social Bookmarking, read Educause's 7 Things you should know about Social Bookmarking.

Read more about the changes going on in UK Universities as a result of technology in Academia tackles the future from the Guardian.



Find out what help is available from your University. At London Met, for example, look at Library Matters on Weblearn for help with Information Literacy. (you'll need to be logged in to view content)