College: There’s an app for that

Apps in the classroom can maximize students’ efficiency and organization.
By
  • Luis Ruuska
October 17, 2013

With nearly 1 million apps in the iOS App Store and more than 800,000 apps available in the Android market, smartphone users have more options than ever.

Although gaming and social networking apps are often the most popular — not to mention most lucrative to developers and advertisers — they don’t offer much besides staving off boredom for a few minutes.

Most of us have mini-computers in the palm of our hands capable of processing tasks actual computers could never have dreamed of a decade ago. Isn’t it time we start putting them to better use than just using them to crush confectionary treats?

From organization to note-taking, students may find that tossing the pen and paper and downloading a new app has more benefits than ever imagined.

iStudiez Pro

One app all students should have on the first day of the new semester is iStudiez Pro. Although it’s currently only available for Apple devices, iStudiez Pro is the epitome of what a digital planner for students should be, bar none.

Students can enter their assignments and exams for the entire semester and get due date reminders a day before or a week before. Students can also put down important information about their instructors like office hours and email. iStudiez Pro syncs with the default calendar app on both iOS and OS X devices, which means that students can gauge what their day is going to look like at the beginning of their day.

Evernote

Note-taking apps are the perfect way to compliment your newly organized semester schedule. You’ve probably heard of the app Evernote, but have you actually ever used it? The omniscient functionality of Evernote is what makes it work better than any other note-taking app available.

Do you have a phone running Android, but an Apple computer? No problem. Evernote has an app for nearly every operating system and still can be accessed on a computer lab computer. Everything is stored and synced to the user’s personal cloud.

Among other features, Evernote allows students to organize notes by class and take audio clips in lectures, and it allows students to share notes with one another. It’s great for when you come down with that weeklong illness and need to catch up on what you missed.

StudyBlue

If you learn better through memorization of key facts, then you likely are a flashcard user. There’s an app for that, too. Ditch the flashcards that you end up tossing after your final and go digital with StudyBlue. Available for iOS, Android and as a Web app, StudyBlue has 3.5 million users that are able to find flashcards for everything from anatomy to Arabic. Of course, students can also choose to contribute to the StudyBlue community as well by creating their own flashcards and sharing them with the world.

Perhaps StudyBlue’s most useful feature is that it works in tandem with Evernote, making it easier than ever to optimize study time.

The apps I’ve included here are by no means the only apps that optimize a student’s college experience both in and outside of the classroom. Students have thousands of ways to study, get organized, manage finances, etc., at their fingertips.

This is a privilege that no other generation before us has had and a privilege that we have an obligation to take full advantage of.

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