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Educational Technology

There are a number of apps and devices that can assist with managing your time and documents, as well as with note taking, reading more efficiently, studying for tests, and writing papers. Here are some suggestions.

google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive allows you to collaboratively create, edit, and store documents in the Cloud. People with permission to access your documents can edit them simultaneously in real time. This means you don't have to wait to for others to do their work in order for you to do yours. You can use Google Hangouts to video conference with group members and use Google Calendar to stay on top of your assignments.

Google Drive

Apple's iCloud service


iCloud is Apple's own cloud based document management and syncing service. While it includes their own version of Microsoft Office (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers), it also syncs Photos, Calendars, Reminders, and Notes.


Microsoft 365 suite

Microsoft 365

Office 365 is simply a rebranding of Microsoft WordPowerPointExcel, and Outlook that integrates Cloud storage and document editing, similar to Google Drive. Microsoft OneNote (also available separately for free), allows for free-form digital note taking.

Microsoft Learning



Similar to Endnote, Zotero is a free alternative. Zotero can be downloaded from the AU portal under downloads.




Tablets are becoming the "go to" mobile device for college students and working professionals. They’re great for reading digital course materials and taking notes. They come with a great set of apps that are geared toward time and life management. They also have an app store where you can purchase more apps.  iPad   Microsoft Surface 

Tablets to buy 2017

Helpful Tips

What are the best apps to use?

There's really no such thing as the best app. Focus on finding one that works best for you. Every device comes with its own set of productivity apps. Try those first and see how they work for you. If there's a feature that you wish one of these stock apps had, search in the app store for an app that has it. Use search terms such as "PDF reader", "notes", or "calendar" to find more apps. Be sure to sort the results by their rating, so you can easily see which apps are most highly rated.

What is the cloud and why should I use it?

The Cloud is just a fancy word for a server that stores and encrypts your data so that it can be accessed through the Internet. If you think about, you've already been using the Cloud for things like email, social media, banking. The concept has just expanded to include your documents as well. Saving documents in the cloud creates a secure back up of your files. So, if something happens to your device, you can just log into your Cloud account on another one in order to get back up and running again.

How do I learn more about how to use an app on this page?

The easiest thing to do is to click on the links above to go to that app's website. You'll easily find tutorials to help you. YouTube also is a valuable resource for "how-to" videos. American University also offers free access to through the technology tab in the left hand navigation menu in the AU portal. Look for the "Lynda Web-Based Training" link.