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Back to School 2009 - Tips to Automate Your Learning

That's right. It's that time of year again. You'll once again need to pay a visit to the campus store to buy some overpriced textbooks and the latest batch of alma mater-inspired clothing. Now that you're heading back to school to further your education, you'll probably want to make the experience as painless as possible too. Thankfully, the world of technology is behind you every step of the way.

You will still need to endure the droning monotone of your professors and put in the hours of study, but these don't have to interfere with your digital lifestyle. In fact, there are plenty of gadgets that can automate your learning... or at least make it a little easier and a little more enjoyable.

Ready to hit the books?

Use an Automatic Coffee Maker on a Timer

Back to School 2009 - Tips to Automate Your Learning

Ask just about any student and they'll tell you that they cannot live without their coffee. This is especially true during exam time when you'll be burning the midnight oil java, trying to burn as much of that knowledge into your brain as possible. You could waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars at the local Starbucks, but it's much more in line with the starving student budget to get a cheap coffee maker.

But you're bound to sleep in, right? You don't have the kind of time to put in a filter, toss in the grounds, and wait for the bloody thing to brew that delicious liquid gold. Thankfully, there are lots of coffee makers on the market that come with a timer function. By setting the timer the night before, you can ensure that your cup of coffee is ready for you when you finally manage to roll out of bed in the morning.

Back to School 2009 - Tips to Automate Your Learning

Better still, consider the convergence route with a more all-inclusive kind of kitchen appliance. This can be very useful for students living and studying in cramped dorm rooms. A great example of this is the Aroma Toaster Oven and Coffee Maker combination. It'll brew coffee, toast your breakfast, and warm your buns for under $40.

This model doesn't come with enough of a timer for the coffee maker side of the equation, but you can surely find something similar at your favorite local store.

Load Lectures Onto Your iPod for Info Osmosis

Back to School 2009 - Tips to Automate Your Learning

There are three parts to this equation to help improve your learning process and your ability to retain the information that you are attempting to remember. First, you probably shouldn't do anything that Ralph Wiggum tells you to do, even if he choo-choo-chooses you.

Second, consider investing in a digital voice recorder. These can be relatively inexpensive and can be purchased just about anywhere. Ask for permission from your professor to place this at the front of the lecture hall and let it record the entire lecture. Alternatively, you can use a Flip Video UltraHD and record the lecture in full video.

Getting back to your place, download the audio (or video) file and upload the lecture to your iPod or other portable MP3 player. By taking this route, you can even choose to snooze away during class, listening to the lecture at your leisure. You can even let the lecture MP3 player in the background while commuting to school; you may absorb some teachings through sheer osmosis.

And don't eat the glue. Otherwise, you might end up like Ralph.

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