Stacey Acevero, the social media community manager for Vocus's PRWeb and a master's student at the University of Phoenix, says she uses both Evernote and OneNote to take notes while she reads her online textbooks.
"[T]hey are fantastic note taking programs that allow for a much more visual approach than just typing a couple of sentences that probably won't be understood later," she says.
[Learn why online M.B.A.'s remain controversial.]
4. Web cams and headsets: Many online programs rely on Web cameras so students and faculty members can video chat. Tadd Rosenfeld, chief executive officer of Team Launcher, an international outsourcing company, says more than 50 of his employees earned their degrees online. He says USB-based headsets are a "must-have for distance learning if you want to participate effectively in spoken classroom conversation over the Internet."
Rosenfeld suggests using headsets that plug into the computer's USB port, rather than its microphone jack or that use Bluetooth technology, which he says operate with an inferior sound quality.
Candice Hughes, a second-year online M.B.A. student at the Indiana University—Bloomington's Kelley School of Business, says she and her peers use Skype and Freeconferencecall.com for group discussions.
"These online technologies make it straightforward to learn at a distance," she says.
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