In this digital age, smartphone apps are part and parcel of a college student’s school supplies. There are some things that a smartphone can do that just can’t be done with a standard textbook, a notepad, or a pencil. With more interactive technologies aiding their studies, students can learn course materials with greater confidence and understanding than ever before. Is it so bad that the tablet and the smartphone have begun to take the place of the spiral notebook? I don’t think so, and I think the millions of tech-savvy college students would agree with me wholeheartedly. After all, what’s not to love about more intuitive learning tools?
I want to share with you some of the best educational smartphone apps out there, those specially designed to aid students as they work. Some are classics of the genre, and some are relatively new but no less impressive. Let’s take a look at them.
Studious is a relatively new organizational app for the Android operating system. With Studious, students can plan out and anticipate all sorts of assignments, tests, and events during their college tenure. The app works as a planner, providing an easy to use calendar interface that lets the user plug in their class schedules and upcoming due dates for assignments.
Studious will remind you about classes, turn your phone off when that class starts (to prevent that embarrassing ringtone from sounding off during lecture), and save any notes you type into the app. With comprehensive updates and additions forecasted for Studious, the app promises to become quite a fixture in the college community.
Studious is available free from Google Play.
Ah yes, Evernote, the reliable standby fitting for any organizationally inclined person. Available for the iPhone and the iPad Evernote is probably the most comprehensive note-taking app you’ll find for a mobile device. It lets you to take all sorts of notes (text, video, images, screenshots, bookmarked URLs are just a few of its specialties) and organize them in an intuitive manner so that you can recall them whenever necessary.
Moreover, the notes you file away on Evernote will be instantly transmitted to any other device that has the app, so you can draw on material from your smartphone on your laptop, or vice versa.
WordLens is a godsend to students studying foreign languages or traveling abroad in remote locales. The app works by instantly translating texts put in front of it into the language of your choice. So if you’re in Spain and you don’t understand the street signs, or if you’re stuck on your German homework, you simply activate WordLens and hold your smartphone/tablet camera in front of the text, and watch as the text gets translated into a more familiar tongue.
The app comes free with Spanish and French functionality, but it’ll cost extra to include other languages.
WordLens is available free from iTunes only, but is similar to Google Goggles available on Android.
The Kindle is an infamous digital reading device, but it’s also a moneysaving app for smartphone and tablet using students. With the Kindle app, students can save huge sums of money by purchasing their textbooks in digital format rather than from the local college bookstore. Books that might have cost over a hundred dollars in physical form might cost less than half at Amazon’s digital library, and those are real savings for college students operating on a tight budget.
Not only will the Kindle app cut down on costs, they’ll also minimize the load that students have to carry from class to class. With all their course materials synthesized into a single tablet, students don’t have to worry about bringing the right book to class or misplacing course materials.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.
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