Three ways to study away from a screen
It’s no secret that we’re all spending a lot of time on our screens in 2020. Whether it’s your phone, computer or tablet, you are probably online more than ever before.
As studying from home continues to be the new ‘COVID-normal’, it’s important to find creative ways to keep your uni work going without being online all day – to protect your eyes and your mental health.
Not sure how to do this? Don’t worry, the library has you covered. Here are three of our favourite ways to study away from the screen!
1. Listen to a text document being read aloud
Did you know there are a bunch of ways you can convert a document to an audio file? While this is a critical tool for people with vision impairment, it can also be really useful for anyone who wants an alternative to reading on the screen.
The software and browser extensions that provide this service have improved massively over the years. If you’re expecting a robotic voice, you might be pleasantly surprised! Here are the options we recommend.
Listening to a journal article or other piece of research can help you with comprehension and memorisation, not to mention giving you the chance to study while you exercise, clean or commute. You can also check your own essays or reports this way, listening for errors in grammar, misspellings or issues with sentence structure.
2. Tell someone what you’re learning
No matter how complex the subject matter, it can always be broken down in simple terms that most people can understand. In fact, being able to summarise your research or assessment topic is an excellent way to ensure you know your subject inside-out.
If you live with a friend, family member or partner, try discussing your project with them. If that isn’t an option, chatting on the phone works too – but try to avoid a video call to give your eyes a rest!
Can you explain what you’re trying to accomplish with your project in an ‘elevator pitch’ format? Can you boil down the article you read or the video you watched into a few key points to demonstrate you’ve retained the knowledge from it? This skill will go a long way to helping you understand and communicate about your area of study.
3. Break out the pen and paper
People don’t write by hand as much as they did 10 or 20 years ago, but handwriting notes can help with reading comprehension and information processing. Not to mention, it gets you away from the computer and your mobile phone.
Whether you are working on a design project, a piece of digital content, an essay or a report, there are creative ways you can employ a traditional pen and paper as part of your process.
Here are some of our suggestions:
- Draw a mind map to help you capture ideas and thoughts during a brainstorm phase.
- If you are designing a website or a blog, try drawing the wireframe on paper first.
- Outline your essay or report in a notebook, making sure to jot down ideas or paragraphs as they come to you.
- Write a to-do list to track your project goals and keep it at your desk – nothing beats crossing off tasks on a real list!
We hope this gives you some ideas for how to take a break from the digital screen while still working hard at your study.
Originally published on Article, the Deakin Library blog.