5 apps to help you study better

There’s an app for almost everything, nowadays, isn’t there? So, have you ever thought about using an app to help you study? I mean, it is study week.

Below, we’ve listed some handy apps to help you with your study this exam period.

1. SelfControl
Developer: Charlie Stigler & Steve Lambert
Available: Online for Mac OSX
Cost: Free

Super skilled at procrastinating? Can’t resist the urge to check your social media news feed, or trying to avoid calculus by watching YouTube videos of kittens? SelfControl lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the internet.  Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click start. Until that timer expires, you’ll be unable to access those sites – even if you restart your computer or delete the app! A necessary evil, possibly?

2. Dragon Dictation
Developer: Nuance Communications
Available: App store 
Cost: Free

Fingers hurt from typing too much (It’s a real problem!)? No worries. Get Dragon Dictation and use your voice to dictate your study notes – simply speak and see your content appear on screen.

3. Flashcards+
Developer: Chegg
Available: App  store and Google Play
Cost: Free

Memorise info like a pro using this flashcards app, designed to help you learn.

4. The Oxford Dictionary of English
Developer: MobiSystems
Available: App store and Google Play
Cost: Free

Because everybody needs a good dictionary in their life.

5. Write or Die
Developer: Dr Wicked
Available: Online or App store
Cost: $9.99 – $20

Struggling to find the motivation to write your assignment, unless there’s a looming deadline no more than 24 hours away? Meet: Write or Die. Write or Die is an online app (which you can also download to your iPhone) that gives consequences for distraction and procrastination. As long as you keep writing, everything is fine, but if you become distracted there are customisable consequences.

6. The Hemingway App
Developer: Adam Long & Ben Long
Available: Online
Cost: $19.99

Ready to be judged? This app allows you to paste in content you have written and have it critiqued, to make your writing bold and clear. The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors. It’s especially handy if you have a problem with verbosity (don’t know what that means? Refer to app #4).


National Reconciliation Week Events

National Reconciliation Week

This week is National Reconciliation Week (NRW). NRW runs from 27 May to 3 June, and celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.  

The dates that bookend the week are significant to Indigenous people, and milestones in the reconciliation journey.

27 May marks the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 referendum, which saw Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples granted the same rights as other Australians under the Australian Constitution, including the ability to vote, own property, and receive the same pay.

3 June marks 25 years since the historic Mabo decision, a specific law case in which the High Court of Australia recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander native title rights to their land.

In acknowledgement of NRW, the GUMURRII Student Support Unit has organised Walk and Talk events at Nathan / Mt Gravatt and Gold Coast campuses, which bring together staff and students, Indigenous and non-indigenous, for a walk followed by light refreshments in a spirit of reconciliation.

Mt Gravatt / Nathan

  • When: 10am Tuesday 30 May
  • Where: Meet in front of M23 Undercroft, Mt Gravatt campus and walk to Nathan campus
  • RSVP: here

Gold Coast

  • When: 10am Thursday 1 June
  • Where: Meet in front of G52 International Building, Gold Coast campus
  • RSVP: here

The Griffith Film School is also hosting a screening of the documentary The Fair Go, which tells the story of the 10 year campaign for constitutional change waged by the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

  • When: 3 – 4pm Friday 26 May
  • Where: S08 Griffith Film School Cinema, South Bank Campus
  • RSVP: here

Check out the Logan Eco Action Festival this Sunday

It’s the last day of teaching for this trimester! Surely you must be excited, right?

So, are you doing anything fun to celebrate, before you dive into study week and exams?

Why not go to a free festival at Griffith’s own Logan campus! The Logan Eco Action Festival (LEAF) is being held this Sunday. LEAF is a free community festival for all ages.

The event includes loads of free activities such as eco-workshops, kids rides and face painting, plant sale, yoga, upcycling, musical line-ups, eco exhibitors and delicious food trucks.

It’s even got Australia’s very own famous Blues and Roots musician Ash Grunwald hitting the main stage at 2pm. Chill out on the lawn with some sweet food and enjoy the laid back tunes.

Or if gardening (or beards, any hipsters here?) is more your thing, see Costa Georgiadis from ABC’s Gardening Australia on the main stage at 12pm.  

Relax, have a good time, and prepare yourself for the study and exams to come!

  • Where: Griffith University, Logan Campus
  • When: Sunday 28 May 2017
  • Time: 10am – 3pm

Like LEAF on Facebook and subscribe to the LEAF newsletter to stay up to date.


Protect your computer against viruses

Prevention is better than cure

Have you ever had a virus on your computer? We hope not, but just FYI – they’re not fun.

However, with more and more technological developments computer viruses are becoming increasingly common. For example, you may have heard in the news about the current WannaCry ransomeware attacks

This specific virus encrypts your computer’s files, and demands that you pay a ransom in order to regain access to your files. Doesn’t sound like fun, right? We told you.

So, what can you do to protect against these viruses? Well, most importantly, ensure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer!

As a Griffith student, you can download Symantec Endpoint Protection through our Software Download Service for free. Yes, it’s free! So there’s no excuse not to do it.

Just follow our instructions to access the Software Download Service, select the Symantec Endpoint Protection folder and your operating system, and run the executable file.

If you want further protection, you could also download Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security. While these incur a free, Griffith Students get 50% off, and we reckon that’s an alright saving! You can find out more about Norton Student Savings here.

Once you’ve gotten your anti-virus software sorted, there are a few more things to you can to do protect against computer viruses, so check out our post on how to secure your virtual world, and keep yourself protected online.


Storing your files, made easy

Photo of folders

Did you know that your student email is Gmail based?

And with that comes a whole suite of associated apps, you’ve just gotta click the Google Apps icon at the top right to get to them (hint, it looks like nine small cubes). To get to Google Drive, you just click on the Google Drive option!

So, what is Google Drive? It’s basically a free online file storage system.

Google Drive allows you to easily store your photos, documents, slides, drawings, sheets, videos – anything. Your files in Drive can be reached from any mobile device or computer. So wherever you go, your files go. You can quickly invite others to view, download and collaborate.

Benefits include:

  • Unlimited free storage – no more running out of space.
  • Access everywhere – you can access your files anywhere either via the web or offline by installing Google Drive onto your computer, smartphone or tablet.  
  • Automatic syncing – if you change a file on the web, on your computer or on your mobile device it will automatically update on every device you have installed Google Drive.
  • Secure backup –with Google Drive you will always have your files safely stored in the cloud should anything happen to your computing device. #lifesaver
  • Easy and secure collaboration – you can share files with colleagues and edit them together on any device. So super handy for group assignments! You can also manage exactly who you share your files with and what level of access they will have (view only, or edit).

How convenient, right? I bet you’re kicking yourself as to why you haven’t been using Google Drive already!

No more tears over lost USBs full of all your important assessment! Though, do remember to backup your work and not store it all in the one location.


Library hours for study and exam period

You’re almost there! Just a few more weeks and the trimester will be over. You can sleep in under your doona without the pressing urgency of attending lectures, working on assignments, or studying for exams.

But we’re not quite there yet.

Next week is study week, a week long break between teaching and end of trimester exam period to allow you to study for exams.

However, we get students will often want to use the library more than usual during Weeks 12, 13 & 14 to assist with study (into the early morning even – how do you do it! Young blood?).

Books, study spots, printers, vending machines in close proximity – we’ve got you.

So, for the next three weeks, Nathan and Gold Coast libraries will open 7am Monday, and remain open 24 hours until midnight on Fridays with extended weekend hours to accommodate this. 

  • Monday: 7am-12am (services open 8am – 7pm)
  • Tuesday – Friday: 24 hours (services open 8am – 7pm)
  • Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 10pm (services open 9am – 5pm)

Check out the opening hours for Logan, Mt Gravatt and South Bank campuses here.

And don’t forget to take a look at our handy information on exam prep during study week and on exam day, as well as tips to beat exam anxiety.


It’s Library Week!

Library week banner

Do you know what this week is? Well, besides being the last week of classes for this trimester (which we’re sure you’re also awfully excited about), it’s Library and Information Week!

Library and Information Week is all about raising the profile of libraries and information service professionals in Australia, and showcasing the resources, facilities, events, and services we have to offer.

While we know our students appreciate our libraries (last year we even got given a cake – thank you Layla!), we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind you just how wonderful we are.

Events

We’re often hosting fun events, like Music in the Library, Star Weaving, or even a weekend-long hack-a-thon. In fact, our Human Library event is on this week, where you can take a person out on loan for a conversation on the topic/issue that they represent.

Resources

We have books, a lot of books. And computers so you can check your MyGriffith, access online databases, use software, and – let’s be honest – probably check your social media. You can even borrow a laptop.

But that’s just the physical. Our library website is full of helpful resources such as the library catalogue (a must) and study tips.

Facilities

We’ve got a myriad of facilities including quiet and social study zones, computer labs, toilets (yeah, they’re kind of a necessity), bookable group study rooms and videoconferencing rooms, and even an Xbox at Gold Coast library.

Did you know we even got Google to come and film our libraries? You can actually take a virtual tour of our libraries. If you haven’t checked it out, you should (it’s pretty cool).

And good news for you, our libraries will soon be open extended hours for study and exam weeks! Check out our opening hours here.

Services

You’ll find friendly staff behind all our library desks. They are there to help you with any library questions you may have. 

Not in the library? No worries. You can also call (07 3735 5555 for Brisbane or 07 5552 5555 for Gold Coast), email, chat us, or ask a question online.