5 Perfect Places to Study Around Campus!

Hello all!

Now that we’re well into January, Edge Hill has kicked into study mode! Various exams and assessments are occurring currently, so I thought what would be better than to show you the perfect places to study around campus, as I think Edge Hill is probably one of the best Universities in terms of the variety of study-suited areas for students, each with their own atmosphere and resources.

1) The Edge Hill Library

Edge Hill Library

This is probably my favourite place to study, for a variety of reasons:

  • The library has a variety of brilliant resources- endless books (two floors full!), Windows computers for those who don’t have a computer/laptop of their own or for if you just want a change of atmosphere, printers and photocopiers, quiet independent and group study rooms which are suitable for getting your head down and getting work done, laptops available for rent and (possibly my favourite thing…) a vending machine with stationary!
  • The library is open 24 hours for students, all you need is your Student ID card so that you can gain entry! This is great, because you know there is a place where you can study for long periods of time without worrying about having to move somewhere else when you’re on a roll with your work. It also means that if you particularly like to work in either a busy or quiet environment, you can choose to go study in the library when you know it’s usually busier or quieter once you get used to the general atmosphere throughout the day.
  • As I mentioned above, the library has a variety of independent and group study rooms available upon booking. The thing I love the most about these is that they mean you’re not sat in your room where the urge to procrastinate is insane, but you’re in your own room away from the possible distractions of other students. This is especially awesome for when you’re only available to study at a certain time, but you know the library will be busy and you like to have a quiet atmosphere.

Recently, the University just announced that a new library will be built as of 2017, something which I’m sure you’ll agree is an exciting development and will provide even better facilities for you and future studies! See the post on this here: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2016/12/new-year-sees-work-begin-exciting-campus-developments/

If you wish to read more about the facilities in the library and info on the resources available to students, click this link: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/learningspace/

2) Hale Hall

Hale Hall

Hale Hall isn’t strictly a study area in the way that the library is- there aren’t books and computers available for you- but I still love it just as much!

There are many comfortable sofas in Hale Hall and tables, as you can see above, and the atmosphere is perfect for quiet study. There are moments throughout the day where Hall Hale might be slightly busy, however, it is mostly quiet and although you are studying, the atmosphere doesn’t seem as tense as maybe a space designed strictly for studying, like the library, might feel. It just feels comfortable!

3) The Hub

The upstairs area of the Hub

The Hub is situated in the centre of the campus, so easily accessible to all! The Hub is mostly for students to grab food between lessons or for catered students to get their meals for the day, however there is an upstairs area that’s perfect for getting work and revision done. There are computers and a printer and photocopier available for any work you need them for, and although most of the seats available are fairly out in the open, there are some small booths which are better for getting more privacy to work quietly, with large touchscreen computers for your use.

4) The LINC Building

The LINC Building

The LINC building is situated very close to the library in the centre of the campus, so is also just as accessible as the library and the Hub!

One of the biggest reasons I like this building when I have to study or get coursework done is the fact that it has a large amount of computers accessible to students 24/7 as long as you have your student ID. It also has printers and photocopiers for your use too!

The atmosphere of this building is great for if you need to focus on your work, as it’s mostly quiet throughout the day, however, it can get busy at times due to there being so many computers for the use of students, so if you want to get work done I wouldn’t wait around!

Here’s a link to the University’s page on the LINC building for a bit more info: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/learningspace/linc/

5) Your room!

A room in the Back Halls accommodation

Of course, if you don’t like to study in places like the library or just find it easier to study in the environment of your own room, then why not?

Personally, I don’t find it so easy to study in my room as I get distracted too easy and procrastinate, but I do know that some people find it way easier to study in their own personal space so this is always an option for everyone! It also makes studying more appealing when it’s freezing or raining (typical Northern weather), as you can stay in in your pyjamas and slippers, have a coffee or two and power on through your work comfortably!

So, I hope this has given you some good tips and an idea of the kind of places available for studying at Edge Hill! Thank you for reading 🙂

App of the day: Google Drive

Recently on Twitter, Stephanie McKellop shared a scenario in which her students had used Google Docs to simultaneously take lecture notes in a collective file. Her Twitter thread went viral, with many praising her students for using their initiative to work together. For someone like me, who is so obviously invested in education, seeing the varied response to this was incredibly interesting.

It is as a result of this tweet, my own love for google drive, and because I’m very excited about a technology conference I’m attending in a few weeks, that I decided to talk to you guys today about it.

There are a number of sections to google drive:

  • Google Docs (Word)
  • Google Slides (PowerPoint)
  • Google Sheets (Excel)

In brackets, I have put the programme which this is most like that the majority of you will be familiar with.

How have I used it?

  • At university, we have to do a lot of group presentations, but we aren’t always on campus at the same time, mostly because a lot of people commute. Google slides allows us to do our research and add to it from home, without having to send all of the work to one person to put together, meaning we’re all doing our fair share of work.
  • My friends and I are pretty nerdy, and very busy people, so we actually used Google sheets over the summer in order to coordinate timetables! It really helped us organised the eight of us, who were all on holiday and working at different times.
  • We used google docs during my History A Level, so that we could get feedback in real time from the teacher whilst we worked.
  • I can access google docs from anywhere and, more importantly, it saves automatically. If my laptop dies or has a hissy fit, I can login to another computer and won’t have lost anything as a result!

How do I think YOU can use it?

  • Get your friends together and set up a docs, whether that be docs or slides, for your revision notes; being able to teach another person really makes you learn a topic.
  • Use the sheets to begin budgeting for university! It works exactly like excel, except this can be shared with your parents, who will be able to help you out!
  • Suggest to your teacher that you use it in class as a way to submit your work.

If there was one app I would recommend from during my time at university, it would be this one, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start using it now!

Technology at Uni

Okay, so at uni there is the Library and the Linc Building which have plenty of computers for you to access throughout the day/night. However in halls, do not underestimate how much you will benefit from technology i.e. a laptop, as I’m sure some nights getting out of bed to access a computer is a no go! So if you have a birthday coming up or you’re working I would highly recommend that you save up for a good laptop (if you don’t have one or it’s on its last legs!) as it’ll be the best thing you ever do!

Most assignments will require you to use a computer, therefore it is essential that you have a good laptop that you can rely on throughout uni! I also can’t emphasize enough how important it is to back up your work, either online or a memory pen (be careful as a USB is NOT indestructible!) I know my friends have had instances where their laptop has broken and they have lost their work, and believe me using this excuse to ask for an extension for work does not go down well!

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!

Also with technology on the rise in all aspects of life, courses will keep you up to date with the newest advances where appropriate. So as I am doing teaching, my course sometimes covers the use of apps/websites that are currently available to enhance learning in the classroom. Having this knowledge gives us future teachers an advantage in the classroom and lets us keep up-to-date with the best ways to teach and interact with the pupils.

So all I can say for now is make sure you’re technology ready for September- you won’t regret it… and who can’t say they love a new gadget!

 

Talking to the Pros

Whilst on my adventures running a record label, one of the artists I worked with is very against using Twitter. Whilst I understand that Twitter isn’t for everyone – ahem cover images which are stretched due to a dodgy website re design, only allowed 140 characters, trolls, spammers, etc. – but as time has gone by and the more I’ve used it, I have seen the advantages of using it.

Whilst back then it was probably a little more tricky to connect with professionals, nowadays it is easier thanks to the internet.

Twitter

Before I go onto more less known ways of connecting to Professionals (feel free to add more relevant ways in the comments), let’s talk Twitter. I use social networks like crazy, so it helps to have an App like Hootsuite so they can all (including my Facebook Pages, Linked In profile) be managed from one place. In terms of talking to Pros, I mainly use Twitter to give feedback on their companies’ products / service – I try to be positive, but sometimes I notice something (negative) that I think could potentially harm them in some way, so I give that kind of feedback too (especially if it’s a good company that I think really deserves to thrive). Whenever I share content from a Pro (like a Soundcloud track or YouTube video etc) then I try to make sure I mention them in the sharing Tweet, as sharing counts as feedback, in a way, too. The thing is, professionals sometimes if not usually take your tweets on board if they are relevant – If this happens, then most likely the Pro will take on board your feedback, but less likely is that he / she / they will implement it in their company. I can say with confidence that once in a blue moon my feedback (if it’s relevant, and others have said similar things) does get heard and I can see the change in the company I tweeted about. Twitter also helps when you are sharing your own content, and keeping in touch with companies that you might want to work for.

Linked In

On the other side of the coin is Linked In. It can be useful for connecting with companies directly (say via the messaging system), although I think Linked In (LI) is more for indirect contact. If I was an employer, and I was searching for someone to fill a vacancy, I might search for jobseekers around that area through Linked In then possibly contact that person; Or more likely when applications for that vacancy come pouring in, and the same person who is applying is one that came up in the previous LI search, the application will shout: “this person has a good digital footprint” (which may help in securing the job). Like Twitter, you can follow employers that you’re interested in as they do usually advertise job vacancies on their professional profiles. Another handy way of connecting to Pros via Linked In is through 2nd or 3rd party connections. It might be that you are a “Connection” with someone you know who works at a company / in an industry you are interested in, hence keeping up with that person’s place within that company via their LI profile updates means that that Contact becomes very valuable, should you want to be introduced to the right people through that contact. It’s who you know etc.

There are other ways of internet connecting. For creative arts, it sometimes works when you constructively comment on their work if an online comment section is there, and generally sending emails or completing feedback forms work too.

The reason I am writing this post is that communication in the professional world is extremely valuable. If a company hears feedback then they can understand their market better so that their product /service is the best it can be, so they can survive longer, and possibly take on more employees (ahem new graduates ahem). It also helps secure employment in the present (I have found work via email, and following employers on Facebook). Be careful though: Communication is not an ego trip (ie. your feedback is heard and applied, hence you were so right and they were so wrong), so it’s best to keep professional communication sensible and restrained!

Food For Thought… QR Sushi and Braille Burgers!

Quite literally! So this October has seen the first ever QR code written in Sushi… Those of you who aren’t familiar with QR codes, they are a specific barcode which is read by Smart Phones and direct you to something (often using the Internet.) For example you can be linked directly to a Brand’s Website by scanning the code used in their advert.

The last two years have seen a boost in the use of QR codes in some of the most clever and effective ways – below are some photos…

And here is a video about the QR Code Sushi – amazing isn’t it?

 

Another fabulous campaign which I have only just seen (despite it being made a few months back) is the Wimpy Burger Campaign. It is so brilliant, the fact that it is so personalised, special and helpful. Anybody who knows anybody with sight impairments will understand the value this campaign and having braille menus will have on people. The impact of this campaign, as said in the video, is phenomenal.