Four assistive technologies to create positive study habits

How to create positive study habits to finish the semester strong

Over the course of the winter semester, the TRU newsroom has shared many assistive technologies in hopes of benefiting students working from home. These four technologies include apps called Quizlet, Bear Focus Timer, Microsoft To Do and Read&Write software through Microsoft 360.


Quizlet is an app available for smartphones, tablets and computers and can be used to create efficient study sessions with the features available. The main focus of the Quizlet app is the ability to create flashcards to study, without having to write out hundreds of cards you may only use once.

The Quizlet app also has other quizzing features, including multiple-choice quizzes, matching games, and a test format that combines written multiple-choice and true/false questions.

The app has the ability to share study sets, so if you’re in a study group and want to share your work with your partners, there is the opportunity to do so using the app. Quizlet is free to download but there are optional in-app purchases to upgrade the app.

Bear Focus Timer

Bear Focus Timer is another app, available for smartphones, and is used to help students stay focused when working from home. The app is used for time management and includes a white noise feature.

Bear Focus Timer allows the user to set up and customize the length of their study sessions and short breaks to help them stay focused. 

Once you’re ready to study, you simply open the app, place your phone face down on a flat surface and your session will have begun, vibrating to signify it has started. Once your session is over and it’s time for a break, your phone will signal you with a vibration, tone, or a combination of both.

Bear Focus Timer costs $2.79 and is available in the Apple and Google Play stores.


Read&Write is a downloadable program through Microsoft 360 for your computer and has accessibility features to help students stay focused and make study sessions easier. Read&Write has many features including the highlight tool, the vocabulary list tool, screen masking, and the text to speech and talk and type tools.

TRU has a video and article in the TRU newsroom, describing how each of these tools works and how they can be utilized by students.

Read&Write is free for students and they can sign up at under IT Support using their MyTRU email address.

Microsoft To Do

Microsoft To Do is a time management app for smartphones, tablets and computers and allows the user to organize their day and prepare for upcoming deadlines using one app.

Users can add tasks that need to be done that day, tasks that are important, tasks with due dates, and personalized tasks like shopping for groceries.

Users can also add steps to tasks with multiple components, add notes to tasks, assign tasks to others, set up reminders and can also set up recurring tasks. Microsoft To Do is a free app available on the Apple and Google Play Stores.

As the end of the semester nears, it is a stressful time for students working to finish their coursework, especially when working from home. These four assistive technologies may give students the opportunity to be successful as they finish off the semester. More in-depth information on each of these technologies can be found in the TRU newsroom or by visiting the Remote Learning Tools webpage.