Access to new information has quite literally arrived at the fingertips of anyone with access to certain technologies. The presence of new technologies on college campuses is changing student life.
Google has recently implemented new search technology that makes searching the Internet faster and more productive than ever. Previously, a user would enter a word or phrase into the Google search box, press “enter,” and in a few seconds, the search engine would compile a list of relevant websites that matched the entered word or phrase. Google’s revamped search engine begins showing results as letters and words are typed by the user in the search box. This technology makes it possible to visually scan the results that Google is finding as a user is still typing. The keywords from the user can then be modified or expanded on without having to press “enter” and wait on search results to appear.
“I haven’t made a decision on if I like it or not,” said Lora Andrews, senior in secondary education. “I think it could be useful and save time, but I’m not used to it yet.”
Cell phones that are capable of more than phone calls are no longer a new technology, but the capabilities that cell phones do have are constantly expanding.
“Swype” technology has changed the way people text and use the internet on touch screen phones. With the Swype application, the phone user can type by dragging their finger over the letters on the screen.
Not all words are immediately recognized by Swype, “but it learns,” said Sean Gaulin, junior in computer science.
Other cell phone applications are doing more than just saving students time. K-State has recently joined a small group of colleges using a phone application called “Layar.” With this app, a phone can be pointed in the direction of a building on campus and the name of the building, a short history of the building and other points of interest nearby will appear on the phone. Layar is not limited to college campuses, but has been used to identify public places worldwide, and can be used on any cell phone with “apps” capability.
According to Amy Horvatic, senior in human resources management and economics, there is also a new key jingle app that allows students attending sporting events to use their phone to make the sound of keys jingling together.
“I think it’s kind of dumb to spend $.99 on an app when you can just use your keys,” Horvatic said.
In addition to Swype, Gaulin said some other cell phone applications that are useful to students include the “ShopSavvy” and “Kindle” applications. With ShopSavvy, students can scan a bar code on any product and the application will come up with nearby stores and the prices that product sells for in each store.
Gaulin said he also saves money by purchasing his textbooks through his Kindle application, which allows users to purchase downloads from amazon.com.
“A lot of people think it’s hard to read on a phone screen, but with phones having bigger screens, it’s not that hard,” Gaulin said.
Not only has this application allowed Gaulin to save money on his textbooks, but he also said “it’s easier to read on the phone than it is to carry textbooks.”
New technologies continue to cut down on the work that students have to do for themselves. Instead of typing in an entire search phrase to a search engine, carrying car keys into a game, checking sale prices at each grocery store in town or even carrying heavy textbooks, all of this can be accomplished with little effort to the user. Essentially, saving a few seconds each time one of these technologies is used can end up saving students hours.