We live in a technological age, that’s no secret. Everything can be accessed in the palm of our hands with rampant use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Using apps can be a great way to access your schoolwork on the go through different devices, and can be an effective tool to keep you on track, organized, and ready for wherever your learning takes you.
1. Evernote: Where to take your notes
I know that Evernote is nothing new, but it is a super versatile app that brings “taking notes” to another level. On the app you can take traditional typed notes for your class and organize them into notebooks, or use tags to highlight certain topics. You can take a picture of the board, a friend’s notes, or a handout so all of the material for your class can be accessed in one streamlined location. You can even record a voice memo if you have an idea and don’t want to write it down. And best of all, you can access your notes online or on any of your devices and share via e-mail to whomever you like.
2. iStudiez Lite: How to plan your life *available on mac and iPhone only
Since my first semester at university, I’ve used this app religiously and I was so into it that I purchased the pro version a few semesters later. The thing I like about this tool, beyond using a regular calendar, is that the repeat options for events are perfect for students because you have to make one event for your class and choose all the days that it occurs (i.e. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). Furthermore, you can also put your due dates for your assignments into the app and schedule reminders for yourself.
3. Quizlet: How to study
Quizlet is all of your flashcards in your pocket so you can test yourself on the bus on the way to the exam if you’re really cramming (I don’t suggest this as a way to study, but I’m emphasizing the app’s convenience). I love this app because creating the different study cards is just as much of a study method as quizzing myself later on the subject. Another great thing about this app is that you can search and look at other cards someone in the past might’ve made and use those to study as well.
4. SelfControl: How to be productive *available on mac
I’m not going to say that my self-control skills are on point, even now as a graduate, but blocking all of the sites that I wasted time on was a real help. On this app you create a “black list” of sites you can’t access during the self-inflicted time allocation you give yourself. As much as I tried, I couldn’t beat the block until the timer has passed. Great if you’re working on a deadline.
5. EasyBib: How you can cite sources fast and effectively
I used the online version of this site when I was in high school, and at the time you needed to pay for the service. When I learned that this gem was now a free app, I downloaded it immediately. Using this app, you choose the style of citation you want, put in all the information and it will generate the citation automatically. I was blown away with the new feature where you can scan the barcode of the book(s) and it will create your citation immediately. The app also includes a feature where you can email the list of citations to yourself to put into your papers seamlessly.
I know that most of you know what Wolfram Alpha is and that it’s amazing. I’ve used it so much during my time in university that I have the app on my phone (I was a math minor). A pro-tip about Wolfram Alpha is that although it may not be “free,” if you buy the app for your phone in Google Play or in the app store then you get most of the perks of being a “Pro” member without paying the monthly subscription. Bonus: another math app that is free with in-app purchases is Mathway.
7. Dropbox: Your online locker
Dropbox is a place for your files to live online, so you can access them from different devices. There is a great insurance to this app as well because if your computer has a meltdown, the files that you have uploaded are safe. The reason I first downloaded Dropbox was because I was getting tired of emailing myself all my school assignments so I could print them on the school computers. It was so much simpler for my assignments to already be online to download at my leisure. I kept using the app because you can share your files anywhere.
8. Desmos: A graphing calculator that doesn’t cost you $100
Desmos works exactly like your TI-89 but doesn’t cost you a thing. A very intuitive and easy-to-use app that allows you to do exactly what you did with your calculator (except when you tried to write notes to your friends during class). The thing that is great about this app for both students and teachers is your ability to save and share your graphs at any time.
9. Duolingo: How to learn a language
Yes, I realize that this app has been especially important for me as an American with no French education moving to Montreal, but I have seen my Canadian friends who have a command of French use the app as well. This app has the added advantage of being fun, it challenges you to make consistent progress and rewards you when you have achieved certain levels of success. Another great feature of this app is that you can compare your progress with your friends if you find each other on the app. Duolingo also offers the direct translations of words you might not be certain about during the exercises.
10. StudyBlue: If Quizlet wasn’t for you
This is another app offering the eco-friendly option of never creating physical cue cards again. The thing about StudyBlue is that is comes with a content library within the app, that allows you to choose from different definitions for your cards. What I found different between StudyBlue and Quizlet is the educator option for this app, where you can look through teachers’ decks to see what they have created. Both are apps take your flashcards to the next level, but you can decide which interface you personally enjoy more.