As the end of August is near it is now the time to pack up everything from home, jam way too many suitcases in a small car, and move back to school! Some younger teens might not want to think ahead to the daunting reality that school is right around the corner, but for most college students it is actually the opposite. Excitement is in the air because within the next few weeks college students will either be stepping onto campus for the first time as freshmen, or returning and cheerfully reuniting with friends.
Now, along with the usual back to school necessities such as jeans and a backpack, many college students will not leave home without their favorite accessory, a smartphone. When you look at the popular selection of apps on a smartphone they will normally include cult favorites such as Facebook, Angrybirds, and Pandora. While all those apps are nice to pass the time on the drive to school, college students should stock their phones with apps that will help them succeed during the year. I thought I would share my favorite back to school apps that make your backpack a little bit lighter, and allow your smartphone to make you a little bit smarter.
- Flashcards– This app is one of the best study tools because it allows you to learn loads of information through the use of digital flashcards. One of the world’s most efficient study tools is now more environmentally friendly because you can make hundreds of flashcards without using any paper.This app also allows you to simply create a new set of cards right from the app and immediately start studying. Another option is you can download flashcards from Quizlet, the leading online study site, and add them to your library for offline studying.
- The Wolfram series of apps are great for any math course you may encounter. The list of available apps match popular math courses, and although they are not free, these apps are a great tool to help with homework and go over concepts learned in class. Instead of just having generic examples for you to do, each of these apps can solve specific problems, that you enter, while providing step by step solutions. They can integrate, differentiate, and really serve as a “mini tutor” to help work out any equation.
- A modern idea that smartphones explore is cloud storage with the two most popular apps being Dropbox and GoogleDrive. Through this service students can have access to documents, photos, and videos, no matter the location. Both apps basically serve the same purpose, so a lot of people find themselves asking Is Google Drive that Different from the competition?
I personally use Dropbox because I find the design to be very clean and easy to use, but any cloud storage app will provide a similar result. No matter the service, it will allow the everyday student to overcome the problem of procrastination by granting quick access to his or her files online so he or she can print a research paper in the library the morning it is due.
- I have always liked to use my phone instead of a standard, written agenda to keep track of all my “to do’s.” Keeping with the synced devices theme, the app Wunderlist helps me stay on top of homework and any outside tasks I need to get done.This specific app also allows you to sort your list by order of importance, set reminder notifications, and share your lists with friends. You can collaborate through social networks and email, or you always have the option to print your list out.
- My last app is not specifically school related, but the app GroupMe allows you to create chats with friends no matter what type of phone or provider they have. This app is a great, free way to collaborate on group projects, to be in constant contact with your roommates, or just to keep in touch with friends from home.
Now that I have listed my top 5 apps for back to school, let me know what your favorites are! Do you agree, or are you outraged that I left your favorite off the list? Let me know in the comments below.