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10 of the Best DECA Tools You've Never Heard Of

2012-11-13

As DECA members, we are always looking for tools to help us improve our projects, activities and efficiency. While researching social media tools for a workshop, I discovered an array of useful resources that can bring papers to life and excitement to presentations!

1. StudyRails

Do you have trouble staying concentrated or blocking out distractions when it’s time to study? If so, StudyRails is the perfect tool for you. This website allows users to schedule study time and alerts them (by text message or alarm) when it is time to drop everything and hit the books. But are you one to check Facebook or your favorite website when you should be working? This is when StudyRails really comes in handy, as it can be set to block these sites during scheduled study time.

2. Asana

Asana is a lifesaver for your to do list. This productivity application allows you to keep track of deadlines and establish accountability for team members. This is ideal for teams working on major projects with many deadlines or association officer teams with monthly tasks or conference planning duties. Unique features including commenting, document attachment and adding followers allow users to increase productivity and streamline communication.

3. Diigo

Diigo is a web-based highlighter and sticky note system that lets you annotate your web research and share your work with classmates. This is an irreplaceable tool when conducting online research for papers.

4. Sliderocket

Bored with PowerPoint? Chances are that you create a lot of presentations for school or another activity. Why not take your presentation to the next level with Sliderocket? Sliderocket’s library of well-designed slides allows you to build beautiful, multimedia-rich presentations straight from the web. Simply pass on the link to share your presentation with anyone or to collaborate as a team.

5. EtherPad

EtherPad takes collaborating on written documents to a new level by allowing multiple people to edit a document at the same time and see what everyone else is writing in real time. If you are working on a DECA project with many people, you can use EtherPad and Skype simultaneously to facilitate a truly effective collaboration session.

6. Moonfruit

Moonfruit is a free website builder. It can help you gain publicity for a public relations project or create a go-to place for your chapter’s information. One of the best features of Moonfruit is that it allows you to customize the style and layout of your site without knowledge of coding.

7. EasyBib

Having trouble formatting book or Internet citations for your paper? EasyBib is a popular online bibliographic tool that lets you automatically create citations in APA, Chicago/Turabian or MLA style. Fun fact: Over 218 million citations have been generated using this site since 2001!

8. Dipity

Dipity helps users chronologically organize web content in order to create, produce and share interactive and visually engaging timelines. These timelines can integrate video, images, audio, text and links, along with social media, locations and timestamps. This is great for any project that requires long-term planning. (think chapter projects)

9. Quizlet

Quizlet is the #2 app in the app store’s free education category. It hosted over 62 million visitors just in the past year! Quizlet allows students to create flashcards and quizzes to accommodate any learning style. Share flashcards or quizzes with friends to practice your competition vocabulary until you ace that exam!

10. Evernote

Evernote allows you to save text, audio and images (e.g., screenshots, webpages, photos, etc. so that everything is searchable. You’ll never lose track of your notes again! Evernote allows you to sync notes between the web, your computer and your mobile device while adding notes from apps, e-mail and Twitter!

This is a huge resource to have at your fingertips in class and in DECA. For more helpful tools, check out our “Cool Tools” board on DECA’s Pinterest page: www.pinterest.com/decainc/cool-tools/

design & development: Fathom Creative, Inc. (fathomcreative.com), Maribel Costa, Anthony D. Paul (anthonydpaul), Brent Maxwell, Efrat Levush, Shelli Silverstein, Byron Hughey