This is a guest post from Karen Schweitzer, the About.com Guide to Business School. Karen also writes for OnlineCollege.org, an accredited online college resource.
There are many different web apps and software products that have been designed with the 2.0 student in mind. Although some of these inventions are expensive, many of them can be used for free. This article points to a wide selection of no-cost tools that can be used to create documents, brainstorm, take notes, collaborate, chat, and perform research online.
This free beta tool from Adobe works well for students who want to write, collaborate, and store documents online. The tool is web-based, which means no download is required to get started.
OpenOffice is a popular suite of open source tools that can be used to create text documents, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, and graphics. This suite is an excellent (and less costly) replacement for Microsoft Office.
ThinkFold is a good tool for online brainstorming, outlining, note taking, and collaboration. It supports text, images, files, and real time changes.
This free web-based tool creates custom note-taking sheets for students who use the Cornell Method to take notes in class. The generator can print blank sheets, ruled sheets, or graph-style sheets.
This free web-based tool is perfect for students who are collaborating on a project. It can be used to upload and share documents, track changes, assign tasks, and more.
Zenbe was designed for businesses, but it can also be used by study groups who want to share conversations online without sending multiple emails.
This free online chat platform gathers all of your buddies from AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, and other instant messaging services and puts them on one list so it is easier to chat online with multiple clients.
ooVoo is a great way for students to stay in touch with friends and family. Two-way video chat is always free and crystal clear.
Schoolr is a unique academic search engine for students of all ages. With one click, students can search multiple sites, including Google, Wikipedia, and Reference.com. Schoolr can also be used to cite sources, convert units, and translate text.
CollegeRuled is a fantastic university resource for students. It can be used to create colorful class schedules and class message boards. Schedules can be linked to from a Facebook account and accessed by anyone.
Designed for high school and college students, Soshiku can be used to track test schedules, assignments, and due dates.
Remember the Milk is a stand-out online task manager for people who want to lead more productive lives. It works with a whole host of other products, including iPhone, iGoogle, and Twitter.
Thrive is a web-based budgeting tool for people who want to better manage their spending. The tool tracks and organizes accounts and offers personalized advice on controlling debt.
Walletproof is a free online community/web app that can help students track spending and create monthly budgets.
AVG Free is the most widely used free anti-virus program on the market. It works well for students who need basic protection from viruses and spyware.
This web-based Wi-Fi Finder from JiWire displays Wi-Fi locations in 140 countries. The global finder includes both free and pay locations.
What is your favorite free web app or software download?