Pass exams with Dropbox and photo screensavers

I’m very pleased to report that I passed my final assessment of the year, which officially makes me a final year medical student! I tried a few different things in studying for my exams this time around, one method which I will share with you here: using photo screensavers and wallpaper slideshows to learn.

‘Snipping Tool’ – a programme/application in Windows 7 – was used to take screen caps from Powerpoint files, word & PDF documents, eBooks and websites and saved the jpg images to a folder on my PC, which I’m going to call my ‘revision folder.’

I then saved this ‘revision folder’ of images onto Dropbox, so it could be accessed by all the computers in my home, and set the images in that folder as both my screensaver and desktop background. Dropbox is a web-based file hosting service, which also allows files to be synchronised between computers. The Dropbox ‘revision folder’ can also be synchronised to Mac and Linux computers, both of which allow you to create photo screensavers so you’ve got no excuse 😛

I also used the Dropbox iPhone app to take some photos from a dermatology textbook, and then uploaded them to my revision folder while I was on the go. There is a Dropbox app for Android phones too.

The end result is a screensaver & wallpaper slideshow that displays information relevant to what you think you’ll be tested on, and other high-yield exam facts that will come up in assessments. This is a simple trick that should help you learn a few facts and reinforce the ones you’ve already come to grips with. This is extremely useful for my medical studies, where sometimes there are very useful summary tables in textbooks outlining certain conditions with photos, flowcharts etc:

You could take it to the next level by exporting ALL of the Powerpoint handouts and other documents you get from lecturers/university/college as jpgs to your ‘revision folder,’ but it might be more useful to keep it limited to things you want to learn.

Another great thing about using Dropbox in this way – other than it being FREE – is that you can share your ‘revision folder’ with colleagues so they can upload their own images to this revision bank! If you’re feeling generous / don’t trust them you can even share the folder as ‘read only’ so nobody can accidentally delete your images in the ‘revision folder.’

Sure, this might not work for everyone; but if you’re reading this you clearly have access to at least one computer and monitor – so put them to good use and create a photo screensaver of useful information. Think of it as as a ‘paperless’ version of having educational posters on your walls. It’s certainly something I will be using in the future.

I hope that you have found this post helpful and clear, if you have any questions or would like to mention anything else please leave a comment below.

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