With the Internet becoming so widespread, it might seem like any time you need it, it will be there. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, there are situations where when you are studying, you will not have access to the Internet. In these moments, it might feel like you cannot study and should do something else; however, studying without access to the Internet is a valuable skill to learn.

The simplest way to work offline is to use your physical textbook and notes that you made during lessons. This way, you can supplement your notes with information from the textbook instead of supplementing notes with information from the Internet. Often just going over your notes from a lesson will show you what you need clarified. When you have specific questions, you can use your textbook, your peers, your teaching assistants, or the professor. Click here for our blog post on who it is best to ask for help.

If you know you are not going to have Internet (e.g., going on a trip, switching providers, planned outage, etc.), you can take steps to prepare. For example, you can download the electronic version of your textbook (if you have permission to do so) and have access to it even without the Internet. Another option is to download the class material that you will need in order to work offline.

Sometimes, it is also a good exercise to see if you can solve a problem by yourself, without immediately going online for the answer. Applying the knowledge you do have, can lead to a more internalized understanding of things you might struggle with. For example, in solving a math problem, where you are having difficulties, you can try different approaches that you have already mastered to come to a conclusion. By coming to the conclusion on your own, chances are that you will know what to do next time. By being given the answer, students often do not internalize the knowledge, and are not able to reproduce it after their test is over.


Studying without access to the Internet can be a great way to test your knowledge.

Studying without access to the internet, for whichever reason, may seem like it takes a lot longer (and it might), but that may not be such a bad thing. If you have a sudden desire to learn about a subject and simply search online for the answer, how long will you remember the answer? Or, if you want to know about a subject and spend hours or days trying to find it out, how long will you remember then? For example, Leonardo da Vinci wrote himself a reminder to look into how a woodpecker’s tongue works. If he had access to the internet, he might remember the answer after a while, or he might not, but by working it out himself, or asking someone he knew, he spent more time with the subject and could better internalize the knowledge.

While it might seem like the Internet is always going to be there to help you out when you are studying, the reality is, it probably won’t (and it’ll pick the worst time to stop working). There are a variety of ways you can study without the Internet (using the physical textbook, asking your peers, professor, teacher, etc.) that may take a bit longer, but they can be useful to soak up what is being taught. By having the skill set to study even without access to the Internet, you will still be able to complete the work and learn. While it might be difficult to start, remember that people have been learning without access to the Internet for thousands of years. In fact, we’ve been learning without the Internet for far longer than we’ve had it.


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