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Steps on How to Find Software that is Useful for Students
Gone are the days when students only read books and write on their notebooks. Today, even kindergarteners know how to use the computer. The computer and the internet have become an essential part of the modern student's school life.
But parents and students should be wary in choosing software to install in the student's computer. Computer software is supposed to make studying easier but poor software can lead to frustration and wasted time. The proper program will help the student to easily access reference materials and organize his learning activities while the wrong program can lead to unproductive activities that eat into his study time. It is important that software is carefully studied before it is installed. There are hundreds of software available online and they come in numerous configurations and technologies, so here is a simple guide on how to find software that is useful for students.
1. Get the big picture.
Before installing or buying software, the student together with his parents, preferably, should first ask the important questions.
Why does the student think he needs software in the first place?
Is he encountering any problems or challenges in his studies that he wants to solve with software?
Does he really just want to make his study activities easier?
Which particular area or subject does he want the software to cover?
2. Determine the budget.
There is a lot of software available online for free. If the student feels that the free software available online does not satisfy his requirements, he can sit down with his parents to determine the budget they can afford for a new software, including any new hardware needed. The parents should take into consideration not only the upfront payment for the software but any recurring fees, as well.
3. Narrow the playing field.
The first two steps provide the groundwork on how to find the software that is useful for students. The Needs list and the preliminary budget will enable the student to quickly eliminate software that lack the required features or do not meet the budget. There are many sites listing available software useful for students and allowing the student to search by features or platform. Most of the sites also include pricing information that will help the student in creating a shortlist of potential vendors. The shortlist can include 4 to 5 packages that look like a good fit to the student's requirements. The parents can help the student focus on software companies that have solid background and a broad base of users. Products that easily integrate with other software packages are also preferable.
4. Evaluate the features of the shortlisted software.
The shortlist includes software that satisfies both the Needs list and the budget. The next step is to re-evaluate the choices to see which one offers the most features from the Wants list. This time, the student or his parents can rank the shortlisted software according to relevance to the student's study requirements.
5. Do a trial demo.
Most software companies allow potential buyers to download demos of their software. The student can request for a demo of the shortlisted software. The trial demos will allow the student to familiarize himself with the interface and see if he is comfortable with the setup. The student can work around the trial demos to see which one satisfies his requirement the most.
The above steps on how to find software that is useful for students will enable you to make your final selection. Parents doing the above steps with their children will also teach the students how to be discerning in dealing with software and information found in the internet.