Apps that can help students with college courses and down time

August 19, 2011 By Mark W. Smith

The smartphone has become the centerpiece of many students' digital lives.

Yes, it can be a distraction.

But it also is an incredible tool that can transform classroom learning and late-night studying.

Savvy professors and students are starting to explore what the can contribute to learning - and there is a whole host of apps to help that process along. There are also plenty of apps to help students with the less academic parts of college life.

To download any of these apps, search the Store or Android Market. iOS apps are built for Apple's and can run on the , iPod Touch or iPad.

Cost: Free

Platform: Android, BlackBerry, iOS

More and more smartphones now ship with front-facing cameras that make them great tools.

There are several competitors here - including Apple's FaceTime - but Skype is still the best cross-platform tool for keeping in touch with faraway friends and family. Users on either end can be on a computer, smartphone or tablet.

EVERNOTE PEEK

Cost: Free

Platform:

This innovative app is one of the best uses of the Apple iPad I've ever seen. It turns an iPad into a digital flashcard system using Apple's Smart Cover ($39), the fold-away cover that snaps on and off the iPad 2 with magnets.

Peel the Smart Cover back just one notch and a prompt is displayed. Peel it back another and the answer is revealed. It's fun enough to do that it may even inspire more studying.

Commonly used flashcard packs are available through Evernote, but you can also create your own. It keeps score as the student works through the lesson.

GRADES 2

Cost: Free

Platform: iOS

This app is a sophisticated tool for calculating grades. Students can use it to figure out what grade they'll need on a test to achieve their target grade and also keeps track of overall GPA, weighted by each class' credit count.

Students can also enter due dates for assignments as reminders.

The app is free and supported by ads, but users can pay $1 inside the app to turn them off.

SNOOZERR RECORDINGS

Cost: 99 cents

Platform: iOS

This is a great tool for logging long lecture classes or smaller study sessions. It records audio and pairs that with time-stamped pictures that the student takes of presentations - say, equations on a blackboard - or of his or her own notes.

When the student wants to review, he or she can use the pictures as a visual guide to what the instructor was saying and replay that section.

WUNDERLIST

Cost: Free

Platform: Android, Blackberry, iOS

Task management is an increasingly competitive niche for app developers, with many paid options available. But Wunderlist is still the best out there.

Users can create tasks and to-do items - homework assignments, for instance - and organize each in a series of lists. Completed items fall off the list of pending tasks.

The app syncs to the cloud and can also be seen and managed in a Web interface at Wunderlist.com.

TED

Cost: Free

Platform: iOS

This app is great for the student in everyone. It compiles video from hundreds of presentations at Technology, Entertainment and Design - a conference that features short speeches focused on new ways of thinking.

Presenters often speak about technology, social good or education and challenge societal norms.

It's a great way to spend an hour or so hearing from some of the world's leading minds for free. All of the videos are also available at www.ted.com.

INSTAGRAM

Cost: Free

Platform: iOS

This leading photo-sharing app for the iPhone churns out those popular antique-looking photos seen on many a Facebook page and adds a social layer that allows users to share photos with friends inside the app. It's a great way to keep in touch with friends or record that first year in school.

It's an incredibly simple app that has stayed true to its original intention: to display beautiful photos taken with the smartphone.

The Instagram community - IGers, they're called - has grown to millions of users. Users can follow photos from celebrities including Justin Bieber and news organizations including the Free Press.

An Android version is planned, but a release date hasn't been announced. A similar option for Android users is Lightbox.

AROUNDME

Cost: Free

Platform: Android and iOS

This app uses a smartphone's GPS to find nearby locations by category such as banks, gas stations, bars, coffee shops, restaurants and supermarkets - all the college staples.

Explore further: Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

0 shares

Related Stories

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

June 16, 2011

Yahoo! has begun helping people navigate the sea of applications available for Apple iPhones or mobile gadgets powered by Google-backed Android software.

Japan's DoCoMo plans new app platform for phones

July 9, 2010

Japan's number one mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo has said it will add a new application platform to its "i-mode" handsets this year as it tries to catch up with Apple's runaway iPhone success.

NASA space images app, website broaden cosmic horizons

May 5, 2011

Professional and amateur space aficionados are in for a treat with the new Space Images Version 2 app, created by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Calif. The free app is now optimized for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch ...

Recommended for you

Hyperloop or hyperbole? Musk promises NY-DC run in 29 mins

July 21, 2017

US entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday he'd received tentative approval from the government to build a conceptual "hyperloop" system that would blast passenger pods down vacuum-sealed tubes from New York to Washington at ...

Google, EU dig in for long war

July 20, 2017

Google and the EU are gearing up for a battle that could last years, with the Silicon Valley behemoth facing a relentless challenge to its ambition to expand beyond search results.

Strengthening 3-D printed parts for real-world use

July 20, 2017

From aerospace and defense to digital dentistry and medical devices, 3-D printed parts are used in a variety of industries. Currently, 3-D printed parts are very fragile and only used in the prototyping phase of materials ...

Swimming robot probes Fukushima reactor to find melted fuel

July 19, 2017

An underwater robot entered a badly damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant Wednesday, capturing images of the harsh impact of its meltdown, including key structures that were torn and knocked out of place.

Microsoft cloud to help Baidu self-driving car effort

July 19, 2017

Microsoft's cloud computing platform will be used outside China for collaboration by members of a self-driving car alliance formed by Chinese internet search giant Baidu, the companies announced on Tuesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.