Going Back-to-School as an Adult

Balancing busy lives with coursework.

By on August 8, 2013

So-called nontraditional students make up nearly half of today’s college student population. On top of the typical challenges that college brings, these students must also balance careers and family commitments. Whether it’s been years or decades since their last class, wireless technology and the convenience provided by 4G LTE speeds can help ease students’ back-to-school burdens.

Here’s how.

Before buying new printed textbooks, students should check resources like CourseSmart for digital editions that can be accessed on smartphones, tablets and laptops. Storing digital textbooks on a tablet can also help lighten students’ loads on the way to the classroom. And before shelling out cash, it’s often worth doing some comparison shopping; apps like Amazon’s Amazon Student let users scan textbook barcodes with their smartphones to find the best deals.

High-tech alternatives to traditional tools can also help – the Graphing Calculator app performs most functions as well as their standalone counterpart at a fraction of the cost.

No college course is complete without endless mounds of notes. Apps like Evernote and Notability allow students to integrate their notes with images and recordings and allow for easy sorting and searching come finals. After all, searching for keywords beats sifting through stacks of paper any day and any notes taken on your wireless device can be stored in the cloud for access on the go.

There are also great ways to save time and money through technology once the semester is underway. Need to collaborate on a group project while juggling full-time work and/or parenting obligations? Set up virtual group meetings through services like Google Hangout or ooVoo and be in two places at once.

Though balancing a busy adult life with coursework can be a challenge, plenty of high-tech resources are available to help.