Handy Virtual Tools to Optimize Your Workspace

Husnain Choudhry, Tech Columnist

From keeping bookmarks to compiling meet links, many students and teachers have found convenient ways to help stay organized or get work done faster. However, there is always room for improvement, and in the hunt for the best software for students, in terms of price and efficiency, here is a handy list:

Apple/Samsung PDF Scanners (Free)

Photo by Tamara Nguyen.

Yes, the Apple/Samsung phones do come with a default tool to scan and upload documents, like math worksheets, to Google Classroom. The scanning feature in Apple phones can be accessed by:

  1. Going to the Notes app and creating a new note.
  2. On the bottom of the screen, press the icon. It will present a variety of options, and out of those, select Scan Document.
  3. From there, just take the scan manually, or let the phone automatically “recognize” and scan the document.
  4. After saving, upload it to the Schoogle drive and attach it to the Google Classroom assignment.
  5. Done! The entire process, once familiar, can be 3-4 minutes. So instead of worrying about turning an assignment/test late, students can sit back and relax – even for Samsung users, who just need to follow the same method in principle but through the Camera app. 

Virtual Backgrounds (Free) 

Depending on the software, you may be able to create a virtual background, which is an uploaded image that covers everything in the background except for people. It’s quite convenient for students desperate to cover the gargantuan mess in their room, or who just want to pretend that they are in some exotic place far away.

Krisp Noise Cancelling (Multiple Plans)

Photo courtesy of Krisp.

Months into the pandemic, it is no surprise that a common American household split into several unofficial offices operating out of bedrooms and kitchen tables. Instead of being fixed to such locations, feel free to move around with Krisp, a program that recognizes a person’s voice and blocks all other background noises. Thus, no matter how loud it gets, students can always continue conversing with peers and teachers. 

Although many virtual tools are not free, a combination of free and economical tools, like this list, can make virtual learning easier. Feel free to add to the list by commenting below!